Friday Reads: After the “Storm”Posted: January 8, 2021
Good Day Sky Dancers!
There have been good and bad days in the history of this country. I’ve seen and remember quite a few now that I’m old and because I grew up in the TV age. I remember when both Kennedys and Martin Luther King were assassinated. I remember the moonwalk. I remember 9/11 and watching the live bombing of Baghdad.
You remember where you were on those days even if you were as young as my nursery school age sister who remembers when mother and our cleaning lady Mildred were watching the black and white TV showing the unfolding news in Dallas. I’ll never forget watching the water rise after Hurricane Katrina and the faces of people trapped there. The last time Mildred and my mom were watching the TV with those same faces were those final days of Nixon. That was the year before I moved out to a dorm with my own TV.
I have the same kind of feelings today that I have about those no good, horrible, very bad days. This is not a “I remember the moonwalk” kind’ve day which is what I had expected to experience the night of the 2016 election. This is one of those days when you realize that we’ve lost something or someone precious and wonderful. It’s a day that feels like some unknown innocence in you has made a hole in you letting you know that it was there and now it’s gone.
I’ve always rather laughed at the folks wrapped up in that Confederate Flag stuff. I had a lot of thoughts about them over the years. While none were postivie, none ever came close to thinking they’d storm Capitol Hill for a rich, orange, fat trust fund baby selling lies and false promises who as President, would tell them to do so. Most of us knew some “thing” was likely to happen. It just “the thing” that actually happened was worse than I imagined.
So, now we’re in the fallout and the aftermath has begun. The how, the who, and the what-of-it–along with the blame game–is afoot.
This is from The Washington Post: “Pentagon placed limits on D.C. Guard ahead of pro-Trump protests due to narrow mission”.
Also from WAPO and David Ignatius is this headline: “What went wrong with the protection of the U.S. Capitol.”
Some mistakes are obvious: The FBI underestimated the number of protesters, predicting a maximum of 20,000, which turned out to be less than half the number who showed up. The Capitol Police didn’t stand their ground at the perimeter or at the Capitol itself. The mayor was slow to request additional troops from the D.C. National Guard. The acting attorney general was similarly tardy in ordering elite FBI units into the Capitol. And the Pentagon brass worried more about avoiding politicization of the military than about stopping an insurrection.
In a seeming acknowledgment of the inadequate response, Capitol Police Chief Steven A. Sund announced Thursday night that he was resigning. The Associated Press reported that the Capitol Police had turned down offers of additional support from the National Guard and the FBI before the disastrous invasion of the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.
But as we look for who to blame in this catastrophe, let’s focus on the real culprits: President Trump, who incited the rioters and urged them toward the Capitol; the 13 Republican senators and 138 House members who challenged President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and egged on the insurgents; and the smug, self-appointed patriots who trashed the people’s house. Trump should face legal action for fomenting this riot. The members who risked the lives of their colleagues by encouraging the fanatics should be censured. The insurgents who ransacked the Capitol should be arrested and prosecuted.
There seems to be some movement towards arresting the Trump Rioters/Looters/Murderers/Mob/Insurrectionists but it’s going at a slower snail’s pace than would ever happen at a peaceful protest gathering something related to either recognizing the unequal treatment of Black Americans by the Justice System or some other march for justice. The beatings and the arrests would have happened before folks were moving anywhere.
This is from CNN’s Nicole Chavez: ‘Rioters breached US Capitol security on Wednesday. This was the police response when it was Black protesters on DC streets last year”.
As hundreds of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol, breaking windows and wreaking havoc, politicians and activists were among the many who drew comparisons between the police response on Wednesday to that of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.
The death of George Floyd — a Black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck — in May of 2020 prompted hundreds of protests nationwide over the summer. In many cities, including the nation’s capital, police met protesters with tear gas, violence and arrests.
However, Wednesday’s protests, many pointed out, were different. The Black Lives Matter Global Network, one of the most well-known organizations fighting for the well-being of Black people, described Wednesday’s riots as a “coup.”
The group said it was “one more example of the hypocrisy in our country’s law enforcement response to protest.”
“When Black people protest for our lives, we are all too often met by National Guard troops or police equipped with assault rifles, shields, tear gas and battle helmets,” the group said in a statement. “Make no mistake, if the protesters were Black, we would have been tear gassed, battered, and perhaps shot.”
White privilege was in full display as the kinds of folks the FBI and Right Wing Watch groups have been telling us for years. The usual suspects that shoot up mosques, terrorize women at Planned Parenthood, and attack Black Lives Matter Protestors showed up to stage an insurrection. Remember when the FBI told us and the Republicans were incensed by their report?
This is from the NYT. “These Are the Rioters Who Stormed the Nation’s Capitol. The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.” It’s reported by Sabrina Tavernise and Matthew Rosenberg. As I carefully place the the three pictures of those horrible assassination scenes in this post I can only wonder at the work of the secret service and others to get today’s national leaders to safety. We could’ve lost any number of them this week.
There were infamous white nationalists and noted conspiracy theorists who have spread dark visions of pedophile Satanists running the country. Others were more anonymous, people who had journeyed from Indiana and South Carolina to heed President Trump’s call to show their support. One person, a West Virginia lawmaker, had only been elected to office in November.
All of them converged on Wednesday on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, where hundreds of rioters crashed through barricades, climbed through windows and walked through doors, wandering around the hallways with a sense of gleeful desecration, because, for a few breathtaking hours, they believed that they had displaced the very elites they said they hated.
“We wanted to show these politicians that it’s us who’s in charge, not them,” said a construction worker from Indianapolis, who is 40 and identified himself only as Aaron. He declined to give his last name, saying, “I’m not that dumb.”
But a good deal of them were dumb enough to post their faces to their social media and friends. They should be hunted down, charged with every possible infraction, and dumped in a prison to spend eternity cleaning the johns. One Capitol Police officer lost his life. The one woman shot by Capitol Police was deep into the hate and lies of QAnon.
And now, we have the intrigue …
Something else indeed.
So, once again in the annals of our history we delve in to “untoward here”. It is also very clear that it’s the usual suspects. Our history is full of a lot of white people that follow down the path of strictly white, nationalistic populism and wrap it up with a flag on a cross. We should be prepared to act. This may indeed be our time to get the laws into place to undo these long standing national sins of racism, indigenous genocide, kleptocracy, misogyny, and basic hatred of any ‘other’.
We’ve got a new decade and an old struggle with new purpose.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?