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Est. April 5, 2002

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Witnessing the admittedly disturbing, sadistic, and violent behavior of hundreds of Trump supporters on January 6 that resulted in the deaths of at least five people - Brian Sicknick, Benjamin Phillips, Ashli Babbitt, Kevin Greeson and Roseanne Boyland and similar fascist-minded acts over the past few years has been nothing short of alarming.

Armed to the teeth with AKA rifles, guns, bayonets, confederate and altered Nazi flags, and other-wing paraphernalia under the perverse guise of patriotism, right-wing protesters and Trump supporters from across the nation descended upon the US Capitol, storming the building, belligerently demanding that a democratic election be forfeited and overturned in a manner that was crude, vile, unapologetic, and devoid of any sensitivity.

These so-called “patriotic rebels,” more aptly domestic terrorists, have garnered the support of numerous men and women on the political, social, and cultural right, the groups ranging from social media bloggers, and Republican politicians to rank-and-file conservatives. Allies aside, their most influential cheerleader (at least for the time being) has been President Trump who belatedly, later in the day, called for rioters to cease with their violence.

Reminiscent of a frenzied dictator, Trump, along with members of his family, greeted his largely delusional supporters and enticed them with verbal red meat. He deceptively reassured them that, with their help, he (Trump) would be rightfully rewarded the “win” in the supposedly “stolen election” and remain in office until 2024. He eventually conceded on that same Wednesday evening, and promised a peaceful transition on January 20th.

Not surprisingly, however, earlier in the day, the rogue wannabe dictator was adroitly able to tap into the delicate, vulnerable, and unhinged psyches of his political base as he frantically and wickedly incited their uncontrollable frenzy. The truth is that Trump was/is not alone in his manipulation of this segment of voters. For many years, vast segments of the right-wing media have lauded the increasingly abrasive activity that has occurred among the more aggressive sectors of the cultural right, particularly the varied elements of the far right, who have been increasingly and passionately agitating for a racial civil war.

After ginning up the emotions of his cult-like flock, Trump returned to the White House. But his supporters, overdosed with adrenalin by this point, feverishly marched to the Capitol and stormed the barricades, unleashing all sorts of havoc. Sporadic acts of violence erupted, and things quickly spiraled out of control. Sensing what was occurring, the police quickly ushered legislative leaders to safety. They barricaded doors to the House chamber and drew guns to protect the lawmakers sheltered inside.

They fired tear gas at the attackers. Shots were fired inside the Capitol; Ashli Babbitt, a far right Q’Anon supporter was shot and killed in the melee. Muriel Bowser, District of Columbia mayor, declared a citywide curfew and even then it took Trump nearly three hours to release a video asking those ransacking the Capitol to “go home” - even as he glorified the violence by saying “these are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots.”

While some law enforcement officers were on the job, protecting and serving citizens, what was notable and, quite frankly, distressingly disturbing, was the fact that there were other officers on hand who harbored no apprehension in allowing these renegade terrorists and thugs (and that is what they are - terrorists and thugs) to maraud about the US Capitol, brazenly brandishing weapons, shouting obscenities, roughing up opponents, ransacking the offices of congress people, seeking out specific politicians such as Nancy Pelosi , Jim Clyburn and vice president Mike Pence to inflict violence upon and possibly murder them as well as engaging in all sorts of despicable behavior.

In fact, some officers were chatting up, taking selfies with, and allowing many of the vandals in question to leave without being apprehended for committing crimes. What an incredulous scene! It was as if such untoward behavior was permissible and even lauded by more than a few of these police officers. A sad state of affairs.

While I was shocked by such benign police reaction, I cannot say, in all honestly, that I was all that surprised. What the American public witnessed was the classic intersection of White supremacy and White privilege on display.

Just as disturbing is the fact that many of these protesters (overwhelmingly, if not all, White) appeared to have no compunction in engaging in blatantly disrespectful and menacing acts. Let’s be honest, to paraphrase president elect Joe Biden and a number of other public figures and political commentators, does anyone with any degree of sanity and residing in the real world believe that a group of rabidly undisciplined Black, non-White, Hispanic, and people of color who

  • defiantly brandished assault rifles, racist flags, and other weapons;

  • arrogantly yelled obscenities and screamed in the faces of law enforcement officials;

  • fired off tear gas, Molotov cocktails, and other explosives;

  • violently stormed the US Capitol and directly confronted police officers;

  • publicly shouted and displayed racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric and symbols

  • openly denounced and issued thinly veiled and, in some cases, publicly directed threats to specific politicians;

  • smashed windows;

  • entered, ransacked, and defaced the offices of congress people

  • brazenly called for the overthrow of an election that was fairly decided

would have been allowed to engage in such brutal lawlessness? Please! We all know the answer! Hell no!

Only those of you whose minds reside in a deep, deranged, depraved, and delusional world of denial would believe such a fallacy. Truth be told, such groups would have been denounced in acidic terms by many across the political spectrum for being unpatriotic and troublesome anarchists.

Indeed, a group composed of hundreds of people of color aggressively protesting would not have gotten anywhere near any state capitol building, let alone the US Capitol, and been granted permission to enter the halls of Congress, brandishing weapons! Such high levels of disruption would have very well culminated in heavy gunfire.

Indeed, one could only imagine the intense amount of rabid gunfire and rivers of blood that would have flowed through the corridors of the US Capitol. It would have resulted in a bloodbath of epic proportions. On the contrary, in essence, these predominately White, so-called patriots, defiantly attempted to stage an insurrection to overthrow the government!

Despite expressions of shock and disillusion, the truth is that law enforcement and other related agencies cannot feign ignorance. They had ample information about such a possibility occurring and yet declined to act upon such potential threats that turned out to materialize. Moreover, they, like much of the nation, were highly aware of the fact that protests by these extremist groups had been planned weeks in advance. To be so embarrassingly caught off guard raises healthy suspicions and questions that demand immediate answers. That must be forthcoming and soon!

Similar levels of scorn must be directed toward former Trump allies and administration officials who have suddenly had an “on the road to Damascus” “seen the light”, “turned a corner,” experience and have distanced themselves from the godfather of inflammatory speech. TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE! You sold your souls and there must be consequences! PERIOD! Guest Commentator, Dr. Elwood Watson, Historian, public speaker, and cultural critic is a professor at East Tennessee State University and author of the recent book, Keepin' It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America (University of Chicago Press), which is available in paperback and on Kindle via Amazon and other major book retailers. Contact Dr.Watson and BC.

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is published  Thursday
Executive Editor:
David A. Love, JD
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield, MBA
Peter Gamble

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