Welcome back, friends!! How have you been? I intended to start the year on the blog just like I usually do — you know, ease into 2021 slowly. Maybe share some photos from our holiday at home or even a post about all my hopes and dreams for the year ahead. And then I spent last Wednesday watching the scene unfold in Washington as a violent mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and it was crystal clear yet again…
America has so much more work to do.
It’s that frustrated feeling I’m sure so many of you are experiencing right now too. The last week has left me feeling so angry and sad. Again. But I’m also, sadly, not surprised. Again.
For four years, we’ve seen Trump openly and unapologetically embolden and encourage his supporters. And last week, he literally emboldened them to storm the Capitol; just hours before the attack, he held a rally that was clearly a call-to-action moment for him — he knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it.
We’re going to have to fight much harder
We’re going to walk down to the Capitol
We will never give up…we will stop the steal
We fight like hell
Those are just some of the actual words Trump said in his speech, leaving virtually zero doubt as to his motives. Yes, he did indeed want to incite violence that day and he wanted his supporters to do it for him.
So it’s really no surprise at all that we saw those same supporters “walk down to the Capitol” as per Trump’s instructions. We saw them clad in their MAGA shirts waving Trump flags — and even more disgusting, we also saw the Confederate flag. We saw them push past police — well, the little amount of police that were there. We saw them climb the outside of the Capitol and we saw them vandalize the inside, including the lobby and the offices of Congress members.
It wasn’t a protest and it wasn’t peaceful. In fact, I’m not even sure you could call it a riot because I think we’re so beyond that at this point and we just need to call this event for what it was. This was a violent attack on the very heart of our democracy.
And, of course, we can’t ignore the blatant white privilege that was on display in how police responded — or, really, how they DIDN’T respond. Peaceful protesters marching in support of Black Lives Matter were shot with tear gas and immediately arrested over the summer. In contrast, the violent Trump mob storming the Capitol were able to post bragging videos on social media and take selfies WITH police.
Still think white privilege doesn’t exist??
So here we are, almost a week later, and we’re left wondering: Where do we go from here?? I’m not sure and I won’t pretend to have all the answers, but I’m certain of one thing: None of what’s happened should be a surprise.
None. Of. It.
Reminder that a lot of marginalized people like me are TIRED right now. We’ve been talking for years about Trump’s escalating behavior and dangerous politics, but some of y’all are just now clutching your pearls in surprise.
I’ll never understand that one — the writing was always on the wall here. I mean, I literally wrote about how toxic Trump is at least once a year for the last FOUR YEARS — in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. How could so many people have missed all those red flags and siren warning signs?? I’ve seen so many people saying things like “this isn’t who we are” and I’m over here like…
No, this is exactly who we are and it’s exactly who we’ve been, which is why I get so frustrated every single time I see these calls for unity as if we’re all going to sit around the campfire and sing “Kumbaya.” It’s just so rich to see some Republicans calling for healing and coming together after they’ve encouraged and enabled Trump on his baseless, conspiracy-theory, full-of-lies quest to overturn the election results and undermine the very fabric of democracy — how utterly staggering is that dose of hypocrisy?
The bottom line, as we move toward impeachment this week, is that it shouldn’t have taken a siege for some people to realize all the damage that Trump has caused. And it most certainly shouldn’t have taken four years to realize how toxic he is.
[Photos by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images and Reuters]