A Militia By Any Other Name
Asking a rhetorical question; Is there an ongoing social experiment in this country that has continually pigeon-holed Black people and left the cage open for white men? If you ask a black man or woman—of mature age, we can point out the historical and verbal gymnastics that subtly brainwash our society. The enslaved who worked under the threat of the lash from sun up to sundown was called lazy and shiftless. My personal and early recollections of black men and women forming groups like the Black Panthers, SNCC, and even the NAACP, to stop oppression were labeled angry militants. College and draft-aged white kids protesting the Vietnam War draft and their imminent deaths were quaintly called draft dodgers or noble conscientious objectors. Meanwhile, the black and poor were disposable cannon fodder.
Is it not revealing that black men and women who see violence as an alternate solution are called gangs, thugs, or animals, and white men and women who see violence as the ONLY solution are given lofty titles like militias, societies, and White citizens councils? In June of 2020 Black Lives Matter, peaceful protestors symbolically marched to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Although they carried only placards, and loud voices, apparently their black skins were perceived as a weapon. No one threatened to remove or topple the stone Mr. Lincoln from his familiar perch. No threats of hanging; no bear spray, zip ties, iron poles, or makeshift weapons were brandished but the National Guard came prepared for a riot. They wore their full regalia of riot gear, including masks, flak jackets, and ballistic helmets.
Contrast that to the Insurrection of January sixth. The National Guard was told not to engage but protect the rioters. One might think that the delay in deployment was purposeful and meant to set off a confrontation with Capitol and DC Police who were actively repelling the rioters and the National Guard who was ostensibly sent to protect the insurrectionists, giving Mr. Trump the excuse for declaring martial law. Of course, the former president would never be that “devious” remember he did call for a cessation of the violence, “We have to have peace, so go home. We love you, you’re very special,” the former president told the rioters he had whipped into a frenzy hours earlier.
So as word circulates among the Neanderthals who read white supremacists, and white nationalist blogs and the Bubbas who got AR-15s for their birthdays look for justification, the estimates of the crowd size vary from hundreds to a coffee klatch. Optimistically the tamping down of crowd expectations is a good sign. Maybe buried deep beneath the irrationality and un-Americanism a tiny sliver of sanity is finally peeking through. Maybe overthrowing your government is not a solution for your Trump-Binkie being taken away. Maybe the blue line the insurrectionists once swore allegiance with, their pain, dismemberment, and deaths scratched the surface of their stone-cold hearts.
Dr. King was never asked to pose for pictures with club-wielding officers on horseback, photos happened when he was booked. The late Congressman John Lewis was not called a patriot when he first attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama. Muhammad Ali was stripped of his livelihood and threatened with jail when he protested the Vietnam War, he was called a coward and a traitor to the country, not a conscientious objector.
Is it coincidence or symbolic that the hardcore information being passed from racist to racist is found mostly on the dark web?
Continue to Vote for Change