There are millions of people watching the White Supremacist insurrection attacking the U.S. Capitol wondering how this is our new reality. There are news pundits and public intellectuals that are astounded by the failure of this country. If you are a person who simply wanted the latest election to restore us to normal; who question the legitimacy of Black Lives Matters as both an organization and a simple matter of fact; who find loopholes to paying taxes and vote for the candidate advocating law and order; you may be a Democrat, Republican or Independent and donate money, sign petitions, and hold fundraisers for local politicians. At the dinner table you muse about the slippery slope if we truly consider how to defund the police, the supposed unfairness of reparations for African-Americans, the wrong message of simply giving poor people money. All the while we are on a sled barreling down the other side of that slope.
When Reagan closed public mental health institutions it pushed us down a slippery slope of overburdening the social welfare net meant to catch people before endemic homelessness. When Clinton declared the welfare queen public enemy number one and gave us a bipartisan definition of personal responsibility we began a quick descent to our country where “roughly one in five Americans, received some form of government assistance. When Obama’s integrity and patriotism was questioned because his religious leader spoke truth to the impact of legal policies on Black America. When we discussed the “War on Drugs” as a righteous battle rather than a streamlined path for imprisoning millions of men of color and poor people. When we allowed the privatization of prisons so that hedge funds could get rich from racist laws, our moral compass was well past broken.
So dear moderates, who claim to uphold the Constitution and feel betrayed by watching white supremacists smash the windows to the Capitol building, perhaps now you can support those who have been desperately trying to save this rotten nation. It is the leftist radicals, Cornel West, those democratic socialists, the antifa and anarchists, Bernie Sanders and the Squad, the Black Panthers, the Young Lords, Black Lives Matters, Earth First! that are in fact trying to right this ship. Now maybe you will stop finger waging at riots in the streets that may break a Starbucks window or block traffic or inflate huge rats outside of union busting construction or mothers and communities grieving at a son murdered by police officers.
The only question that now needs asking is the same one it has always been, which side are you on? 30,000 people just rallied in the nation’s capital to overthrow an election, to proclaim their America, waving the flag and celebrating their hero. There is no neutral, no return to normal, no “just respect the laws”, no voting our way out of this one. Choose a side.