has been a challenge to watch the January 6 Committee hearings.
That’s because I can’t get past the fact that I know the
situation would be completely different had it been Black protesters
storming the capital on January 6. I also know the limitations of the
Congressional committee which has no authority to bring criminal
charges against trump and his white supremacist thugs. What impact,
if any, will the public hearings have on a racially divided nation?
no doubt in my mind that the steps leading up to the U.S. Capitol
would have been stained with the blood of brothers and sisters after
they made it known they were coming to “drag mother***s through
the streets” if trump didn’t get the presidency back. Had
Black men in military fatigue scaled the building, assaulted federal
officers, broken down doors and windows to enter, destroyed and stole
government property… If I use the forty-one rounds fired into
the body of unarmed Amadou Diallo in eight seconds for complying with
cops’ orders to raise his hands, the hypothetical carnage of
Black bodies is unbearable.
Congressional hearings on the January 6 coup will share the panel’s
findings from its months-long investigation. There is unseen footage
and unheard testimony but what we saw in real time on January 6 was
more than enough to know that this country is at a dangerous
charges against the several thousands who stormed the Capitol faced
or should have faced were many. They include attempted murder,
murder, seditious conspiracy, entering restricted areas, unlawful
entry onto Capitol grounds, entering restricted areas with a deadly
or dangerous weapon, obstruction of an official proceeding, tampering
with documents or proceedings, engaging in physical violence in a
restricted area, possession of unregistered firearm, unlawful
possession of ammunition, assault of officers, theft of government
property, destruction of federal property, impeding passage through
Capitol grounds, disorderly conduct, to name a few.
Boys and Oath Keepers should be deemed Public Enemies #1. The Black
Panther Party was smacked with this unjustified moniker by FBI head
J. Edgar Hoover in 1968. The Party was subsequently destroyed, its
members forced into exile, jailed or murdered by law enforcement.
1954, when Puerto Rican liberators entered the gallery in business
attire to make their case, it was a very different political
environment. Lolita Lebron was tackled before she had time to unfurl
her country’s flag. She and her three male campaneros were
probably more interested in being martyrs for their cause of
independence than killing lawmakers (they had firearms). Charged with
seditious conspiracy and attempted murder, the four were sentenced to
70 years in prison. They could’ve gotten out sooner had they
repented by making a public apology for their actions but all
adamantly refused. After serving 25 years, President Jimmy Carter
pardoned them in 1979.
are key questions remaining but not about who did what. Do people
understand the seriousness of January 6 on the political climate in
the U.S.? Will the consequences for the January 6 rioters fit the
crimes to make an emphatic point? If they even come close to real
justice, will it be fuel for more seditious acts and violence towards
non-white, non-Christian, non-male populations?
trump still considered the white savior who could be elected in 2024
if there are no federal charges against him? He survived an
impeachment in spite of overwhelming evidence. He still enjoys
unconditional support by half of this country. He could ascend to his
throne once again.
supporters should be organizing like our lives depend on it. Our
communities need to understand the multi-layers of this political
moment and the consequences of having no analysis and implementing
Puerto Rico Libre! and Black Lives Matter! are still relevant
demands. In the face of an expanding, violent white supremacist
movement, they are empty slogans that make us feel good but not be