Tag Archives: violence
“Just warms your heart to see.”
“Let’s stop pretending that the media is not a participant and that it is somehow entitled to not be treated like every other active enemy.”
This week Capitol Hill police officer Brian D. Sicknick was honored in the Capitol Rotunda. Sicknick was caught up in the January 6 riots where he sustained serious injuries and died later.
“The Devil made me do it!”
You have to understand something about the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They’re not entirely responsible for their actions. They had merely responded to the words of their newly-formed deity, Donald Trump. In the hours leading up to the siege, Trump had infused them with idea that he had been wronged by the voting process; that the 2020 elections had been manipulated by covert gangs of leftist forces determined to enforce abortions and gun confiscations upon helpless, red-blooded, bible-carrying Christian American citizens to ensure his loss. He was a victim, Trump maintained, and vicariously so were his minions.
Thus, the Trumpians had been victimized by the same queer-loving renegades and they were justified in storming the Capitol, tearing through offices, screaming like children told to come in for dinner, threatening others because they got their feelings hurt – all while dressed like ghosts of the Civil War and refugees from a Comic-Con conference gone wrong.
The Capitol Hill warriors are no more victims of enraged rhetoric than porn stars are of poor script-writing. For years conservatives have proclaimed the tenets of individual freedom and personal responsibility. They declared such values in reactive angst to a welfare society and relentless victimhood proclamations.
They loathed when non-White people bemoaned centuries of Euro-colonial oppression and systemic racism. They rolled their eyes at the thought of women hollering about sexual harassment in the workplace and on college campuses. They snickered at queer folks complaining of innate homophobia on the job and in school.
Then the U.S. Congress met on January 6, 2021 to certify Joe Biden as the winner of last year’s presidential contest, and – as Dante Alighieri once wrote – all hell broke loose.
The Trumpian crowd became maddened by the process and felt they had no other recourse but to subvert that constitutional mechanism in the most violent manner possible. Their voices and votes had been ignored and they had to stop the madness.
So, in the name of Ronald Reagan, where the hell was all that talk of personal responsibility? Where were the people to take ownership of themselves and their actions? In other words, why do the Capitol Hill rioters suddenly see themselves as victims of…well, anything?!
They all sound like a bunch of – oh, God! A bunch of minorities, women and queers! Pass the rifle and heaven forbid! Now these “victims” have placed themselves in the same category as tree-loving, pot-smoking, Muslim-loving liberals!
What’s going to happen next? The magnetic poles will switch sides – like communist traitors – and life as we know will extinguish itself?
Again – please!
I personally don’t care to hear the anguished state of mind of these mentally- challenged pencil-dick and cavern-cunt imps. What happened with last year’s presidential elections is something known as democracy. It’s the sustenance upon which civilized societies survive. We cannot exist without it. The goons who stormed the Capitol three weeks ago didn’t fall victim to the verbiage of Donald Trump; they were victims of their own damned stupidity. If they truly were swayed by Trumpian oratory, they are as gullible as a child believing in Santa Claus. They roared into that building because what was left of their brain cells had perished in the swamp of their own hysteria.
It’s just so incredibly interesting that these right-wing extremists who wrap themselves in the American flag and cry freedom – while waving the loser traitorous Confederate flag – are suddenly helpless and violated. They couldn’t help themselves. Their faux president told them to do it.
The reality is quite simple: they’re violent and they’re stupid. But they aren’t victims.
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem.”
– President Donald Trump., at Tuesday night’s presidential debate, when asked by debate moderator Chris Wallace to disavow White supremacy.
Wallace asked if Trump would urge White supremacist groups that incited violence at nationwide protests to “stand down.” Trump said to “give me a name” when asked to denounce a specific group, and former Vice-President Joe Biden called out the Proud Boys – a violent hate group that believes, among many things, that women are subject to men and that Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews. Ironically, the group is led by a dark-skinned Hispanic man.
“And so when this terrible thing happened, it really destroyed my faith in humanity. And it took a good long while for me to get over it.”
– Olivia Hooker, survivor of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riots
It’s a typical story: White woman claims Black man assaulted her; mob of White men become enraged and launch a hunt for said perpetrator; any Negro male is automatically presumed guilty; exact details supposed incident are unknown. This was the scenario in May of 1921, when a young White female, Sarah Page, in Tulsa allegedly screamed after a young Black man, Dick Rowland, entered the elevator she operated. Even today the circumstances of the exchange between Page and Rowland remain unclear. But, in 1921, scores of hate-filled White men didn’t need to know such minutia. The White woman’s words were the only details they needed.
And thus, commenced what is now known to be the worst race-based riot in U.S. history. Police found Rowland and charged him sexual assault. The sheriff had refused to hand Rowland over to bands of outraged Whites. The throngs of self-proclaimed vigilantes stormed through Tulsa’s Black-dominated Greenwood neighborhood to exact further revenge. Greenwood featured a district known as “Black Wall Street;” where businesses owned and operated by African-American residents had become an incredibly independent and thriving economy within a city of some 100,000.
When the initial chaos was over, upwards of 300 Greenwood-area residents were dead and thousands left homeless. Some Black veterans of World War I (then called the “Great War”) had taken up arms in defense of their community, which surely incentivized the angry White men to continue their violent retribution.
The same madness would occur in Rosewood, Florida two years later. A White woman reported that a Black man had entered her home and attacked her. The woman’s husband gathered a group of about 500 Ku Klux Klan members and began a hunt through the area for any Black man they could find. They learned that a Black member of a prison chain gang had escaped and believed Black residents of Rosewood were helping him hide. The mobs then systematically tore through town, killing whoever they could (mostly Black men) and driving out most of the survivors. The entire community of Rosewood was decimated. The story of what happened remained largely unknown until at least the 1980s.
The story of Tulsa still remains largely unknown. I’d heard of the horror some 30 years ago and wondered why such a calamity would be so obscure. I now know why. Like much of Native American history, true aspects of the African-American experience are often overwhelmed by the cult of American greatness; the “Manifest Destiny” myths stained heavily with Eurocentric viewpoints. The Tulsa Massacre has received greater attention in recent months because of the tragic deaths of several African-Americans. Its significance has grown even more within the past couple of weeks, as Donald Trump was set to stage a campaign rally in Tulsa today. But that’s been postponed to tomorrow.
COVID-19 concerns aside, the event would have been held on one of the most historic dates in American history. On June 19, 1865, news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached the state of Texas – more than two years after then-President Abraham Lincoln had signed it. The decree established “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”
Known as Juneteenth, the event is now celebrated as a turning point in the U.S. Civil War; bringing an end to one of the bloodiest conflicts on American soil. The Emancipation Proclamation forcibly freed millions of people from the carnage of slavery; granting them the dignity of their humanity; something that had been stolen from their ancestors ensnared in the traps of slave traders on the beaches of West Africa.
That Donald Trump – one of the most cognitively-challenged and covertly racist presidents the U.S. has ever had – would hold a reelection rally on this date and 99 years after one of the single worst racial holocausts in modern American history speaks to an incredible level of ignorance among the historical elite and certainly of its arrogance. Knowing Trump, this shouldn’t be surprising. But the partiality of U.S. history also shouldn’t be surprising.
Many factors of our history – some dating back thousands of years – have been absent from the historical account. For decades, myths persisted that Native Americans willingly bowed down to Christianity and that Blacks lived happily within an enslaved existence. Even now, for example, many Americans believe most Hispanics are Latin American immigrants; when, in fact, the history of Hispanics in the U.S. goes back further than that of other Europeans and is tied inexorably with Native American history. In other words, it IS American history.
Anger over Trump’s June 19 convocation forced organizers to reschedule it for the 20th. But that won’t solve the dilemma of deliberate ignorance – just like civil rights legislation didn’t make all racial transgressions moot. The 1965 Voting Rights Act eliminated many of the barriers to voting obstruction. But, since the election of Barack Obama in 2008, we’ve seen Republican-dominated state legislatures try to roll back some of those protections under the guise of preventing voter fraud.
Much of the anger among Whites in 1921 was that Tulsa’s Greenwood section was prosperous and independent. The same happened with the Tigua community 18 years ago, when the state of Texas shut down their casino under the ruse of combating illegal gambling. The Tiguas had become wealthy and independent with proceeds from the casino; thus, lifting most out of poverty and off of welfare. But they hadn’t gotten permission from the conservative, predominantly White state legislature; an affront of unimaginable proportions the latter. Therefore, then-Governor Rick Perry and then-State Attorney General John Cornyn forced the casino to close. Many of the Tigua have now slipped back into poverty and back onto state assistance. Even as of last year, Texas is still trying to stop the Tiguas from becoming self-sufficient.
Again, anyone with a clear mind shouldn’t be surprised. Economic independence and wealth translates into political power. The voices and experiences of those communities are no longer silenced. That, in turn, upsets the self-appointed power elite – and the oppression begins. It used to come at the end of firearms and sticks. Now it comes with legislation.
It’s too easy to dismiss the ignorance of people like Donald Trump. But it’s also dangerous. And it does a disservice to the American conscious.
We can never truly make amends for incidents like Tulsa. We can, however, honor such brutal transgressions by remembering them; remembering exactly what happened and not deleting any feature of those accounts because some are uncomfortable with it. Again, that’s a disservice to the American conscious.
“Please, if you don’t have something constructive to say, keep your mouth shut.”
– Art Acevedo, Houston police chief, in response to Donald Trump’s advice to state governors to “dominate” people protesting the recent shooting death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.