The chant, Black Lives Matter, in essence, is a demand for recognition that all lives matter. It is a demand that law enforcement, predominantly white law enforcement, stop taking black lives unnecessarily because just as white lives matter so do black lives.
The difference and this is what many whites do not see, or simply want to ignore, is that historically black people have murdered by whites. Murders such as during the Jim Crow era and reign of terror by Klu Klux Klan. Or by many white law enforcement officers that have killed black people, in recent decades, and gotten away with it simply by stating “I felt my life was in danger”.
During the summer, 2020, the black lives protest did, in some instances, have riots break out. In many instances, they were instigated by outside, white agitators. And yes, there was massive looting and sheer lawlessness. Many of the rioters are still being investigated and punished by the law. No one in their right mind believes that anyone arrested for committing a crime shouldn’t be punished. Of course, anyone that breaks that law should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. No one, that is, except the extreme right. For some reason, many of these extreme right-wingers seem to find reasons to justify the insurgency, the coup attempt of January 6, 2021, but not for the peaceful protest the past summer.
While I understand the frustrations felt by many, black, white, brown, straight, gay, and everyone in between, we also do not condone lawlessness. On the other hand, many of these extreme right-wingers somehow equate the storming of the Capitol with the riots of the past summer.
During the summer riots, and while the many peaceful black life matters demonstrations were taking place, many elected Republicans were at the forefront advocating investigations, arrests, and punishment to the fullest extent of the law. However, for the white supremacist that crashed into the capitol, shouting out for Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi for the purpose of killing them, these very same Republican’s have nothing to say.
Many of these very elected officials were whisked out of the capitol merely minutes before the possibility of mortal danger. Yet, as soon as the insurrection was quelled and the House reconvened to resume the task at hand, namely certifying Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as our new President and Vice President respectively, they still found reasons in their soul to object.
The entire planet witnessed Donald J. Trump and his minions spread lie after lie after the November 2020 presidential election. In fact, months before the election when it was becoming apparent that Trump was going to lose his reelection, he began his campaign of lies. He started by saying that the only way he could lose getting reelected was if the “Democrats” rigged and stole the election. Then days before the election Trump’s minions began doing everything possible to ensure his win. From reducing the number of voter drop boxes to restricting voting by mail – all during a global pandemic, a virus that is airborne, a virus that is killing people in the United States by the thousands daily.
Then the election took place. Early voting results were record-breaking. Republican strategists and pundits know that when voter turnout is huge it is a bad sign for Republicans, and when voter turnout is low it great for them. As the night went on it did not appear very favorable for Trump. At one point it was neck in neck, some precincts were too close to call. As the night wore on, the numbers started shifting toward Biden more and more. There was so much irregularity perpetuated by Republicans that the election results were not called for days later. And when the results were finally called Joe Biden was the victor. That is when the Republican slime machine went into full gear. Trump’s minions went on a media binge to decry that the election was stolen. Republicans like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, Alabama Congressman Morris Jackson “Mo” Brooks Jr., former New York Mayor and Trump Attorney Rudolph Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., and many others. For months they continued on message -that the election was stolen. They continued spreading this misinformation, which was perpetrated by the alt-right news media Fox News, so much so that the Trump base began buying it. As they continued spreading the lies more of the base began believing it. Despite every single legal challenge mounted by Trump’s lawyers, in the state after state, county after county, election board after election board, assuring that there were no election irregularities, they continued with the lies.
Then on January 6, 2021, the day the Congress was going to count and certify the results of the Electoral College, which was, in Donald J. Trump’s distorted mind, the last hope for reversing the election results he incited his followers. Mind you, that the Electoral College had already counted and determined that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris had in fact received more votes, thus are the newly elected President and Vice President, Trump incited his followers into believing that Mike Pence could reverse the count. This, of course, is false, there was nothing anyone, including Pence, could do, this was just a formality – the certifying of the count made by the Electoral College – but that morning, January 6, 2021, Trump made that speech in which he said
“And he looked at Mike Pence, and I hope Mike is going to do the right thing. I hope so. I hope so.
Because if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All he has to do, all this is, this is from the number one, or certainly one of the top, Constitutional lawyers in our country. He has the absolute right to do it. We’re supposed to protect our country, support our country, support our Constitution, and protect our constitution”.
Now, going back to the black lives matter protest of summer 2020, many White Conservative Republican’s ran their entire November 2020 political race on a distorted “law and order” platform. One which many recognize as code for extinguishing the voices of black and brown people. Some of these politicians were even more blatant asserting things like that their political opponent would build low-income housing in their Lilly white suburban neighborhoods. This was just another scare tactic like the one used in 2018 when Trump and his minions advised about the “immigrant invasion” that would inundate our social services system and result in skyrocketing crime rates.
Liar, liar pants on fire
After President John F. Kennedy was assassinated Malcolm X made the comment “it’s just the chicken coming home to roost” and it was taken as an affront. Malcolm suffered a lot because of that statement. But the results of January 6, 2021, in my opinion, truly are the chickens coming home to roost. After all, it was Trump himself that for the past four years, as President of the United States of America, fanned the flames of racism and xenophobia. Of course, Trump’s racism is nothing new. As a New York housing developer, he attempted to prevent black people from moving into his developments. His position on the charges brought against the so-called Central Park Five are well documented, he took out a full-page advertisement in the New York Times in which he advocated for the death penalty. Then when they were all exonerated said, something to the effect of “well maybe they didn’t do this crime but they surely commit other heinous crimes”. His speech announcing his bid for the US Presidency was nothing short of a racist, hate-filled speech wherein he said “Mexicans are drug dealers, murderers, and rapist, and that, sure there may be a few good ones”; during the worse weather crisis in Puerto Rico’s history, Hurricane Maria, as the people of this commonwealth were suffering, and in need of aide, Trump addressed them by tossing rolls of paper towels. During the Charlottesville, Virginia, 2017 clash between peaceful black lives matter mourners and the racist white supremacist instigators, Trump made the racist comment that “there are good people on both sides”. During the second debate for his reelection in November 2020 when asked if he would denounce white supremacists, instead of denouncing them Trump told the white supremacist group, the Proud Boys, “Stand back and stand by”.
The evidence is clear to most of the world. But to be fair, legal evidence is very different then what is seen or heard. However, there is such a thing as the court of public opinion. And given all the things that Americans and the world have seen this man (Donald J. Trump) do, and have heard him say for the past four years, even and until right before the insurrection of January 6, 2021, in the name of all that is right, “One nation, under God, indivisible, for liberty and justice for all”, Trump must be held accountable.
Some Republicans, such as Florida Senator Mark Rubio, and California Representative Kevin McCarthy, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham, and others want to give Trump a pass. Just because he is no longer president they feel that we should just let him ride off into the sunset. The fact is that he committed a crime – at the very least he incited a riot, at worse he led a coup d’etat, this does not go away because he is no longer in office. He must be held to account. He is the first President in the history of this nation to be twice impeached. Impeachment, for those that do not know, is simply a charge and information in legal terms. It is similar to an indictment. After one is indicted one moves on to a trial to defend against the charges alleged in the indictment. So too, must an elected official, such as the President answer the charges alleged in the article[s] of impeachment. The media has been reporting that the majority of Republican Senators will not vote to convict. While only 17 are needed, it appears that the Republicans, the party of law and order, only enforce law and order when the perpetrator is not from their party or are people of color.
It is a very sad place where this country has arrived. The country has become so polarized, so divided along party lines that not even an overt act of insurrection instigated by a Republican President of the United States and perpetuated by Republican elected officials, and witnessed by the entire planet will move the GOP to do the right thing.
Perhaps it is time for a realignment, a need for a third political party- the party of Checks And Balances.