I’m neither disappointed nor surprised by what happened at the capitol Wednesday. This has been a long time coming. Trump has been sending signals to his followers for months through social media, emails, presidential debates. “Proud boys, stand back and stand by.” The proud boys have been “organizing” in D.C. the past few months. Although, there hasn’t been much media coverage of it. They have vandalized historically Black churches and attacked reporters.
Trump has the power to make his supporters believe and do anything he says. It’s scary. They genuinely believe that this election was stolen from him. Despite investigations proving that there was no evidence of voter fraud. He empowers his supporters to be open with their hatefulness. They no longer have to hide and pretend because their president is open with his bigotry. Trump doesn’t send dog whistles like previous presidents, such as Reagan. He is blatantly racist. Trump didn’t radicalize his supporters. White supremacists have always existed and they’ve been waiting for someone to represent them again. They only feel emboldened when they are amongst each other. They disguise themselves any other day. We go to work with them. We pass them as we walk through the mall. They are police officers, judges, prison guards, teachers, and politicians.
I feel insulted when I hear people like Joe Biden claim that this isn’t what America is. But if you’re a person of color, you know that this is what America has always been. America was “founded” through the genocide of indigenous people. America became a super power on the backs of enslaved Africans. We spent the summer watching police assault peaceful protesters against police brutality! The image of America being this progressive, safe haven for everyone is false. That facade has been cracking for the past few years. White supremacy is a part of this country’s establishment. To pretend that yesterday’s incident was an isolated event, is a slap in the face to all of the marginalized identities that America has oppressed GLOBALLY. (BTW, that failed coup was not the darkest day in America. This country has had many dark days. This one doesn’t even break the top 20.)
There’s no need to keep bringing up that the police handled BLM protesters differently than they did Trump supporters storming the capitol. We know. Sadly, we never expected anything different. We’ve always known that this system is unjust. There is sympathy for the racists a part of the working class, that there isn’t for Black people asking to not be killed. There is this constant discussion about how a lot of the white working class only identify with Trump because they are frustrated. They feel like politicians have forgotten about their struggle. People waving the confederate flag and storming the capitol are not neglected children. They’re just emboldened racists following their leader.
These Trump supporters consider themselves to be true patriots, although they’re supporting someone who has committed treason. They wave the flags of the confederates who rebelled against their own country and were considered traitors. They are also fighting to keep someone in office who has already lost the election. That’s not how Democracy works.
The law doesn’t apply to these people. Their white entitlement tells them that POC must follow the rules, but they do not have to. I’m not shocked by the events that have taken place yesterday or these past few years. This is all of America’s ugliness resurfacing. People can no longer deny that white supremacy is a part of America.