In strikingly optimistic prose, Anand Giridharadas gets the insurrection on the Capitol correct. It is the funeral for white supremacy.
Funeral for white supremacy
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Lawrence O'Donnell examined an article that Anand Giridharadas wrote in “The.Ink,” his newsletter, titled “We are falling on our face because we are jumping high.” Giridharadas wrote the following prescient phrases.
It’s scary out there right now. It’s going to be scary for some time to come. What has been unleashed, what has been revealed, is ugly. It is what makes democracies die. In the despair, it is easy to lose perspective. I certainly do all the time. But from time to time, I step back and try to remember where we are as a country on the arc of things.
And I see then that this is both a very dark time and, potentially, a very bright time. It's important to hold these truths together. When I look down at the ground of the present right now, I feel depressed. If I lift my head to the horizon, I see a different picture. This is not the chaos of the beginning of something. This is the chaos of the end of something. …
Because the 40 years of this plutocratic takeover — of the ideology that said if you're torn between doing what's good for money and what's good for people, always do what’s good for money; these stories about lazy workers and welfare queens; and any number of other fraudulent tales that were meant to justify life in the Hamptons — if I allow myself to feel this way on a good day, it all actually feels like it's burning down.
And on matters of race and identity, likewise, the Trump era doesn't have the crackle of a launch. It has been a mourning. A mourning for white power. A mourning for a time when simply to be white and show up was enough. A mourning for an era in which simply to be a man, and not necessarily an especially capable one, could get you ahead of other people. A mourning for a time when you could be the default idea of an American and not have to share your toys.
We must understand that what we've been living through is backlash. Backlash. It's not the engine of history. It is the revolt against the engine of history. Then we might remember — just to pat ourselves on the back for a second — that what we are actually endeavoring to do right now is to become a kind of society that has seldom, if ever, existed in history. Which is become a majority-minority, democratic superpower.
Anand Giridharadas puts more succinctly as he spoke to Lawrence O'Donnell.
“It's very easy to lose sight of that fundamental through-line and that fundamental narrative in American life,” said Anand Giridharadas. “Given what has happened. Last week was insurrection-week. This week was impeachment week. Next week's inauguration week. We never got infrastructure week. And it's dark. It's very, very dark. But I think if you look at so much of this darkness, it is not the darkness of the beginning of something. This is not a launch party that you're seeing on the other side of the screen. This is a funeral for something. It is a funeral for white supremacy. It is a funeral for a kind of outdated outmoded male power. It is a mourning for a time in which certain Americans could feel and claim to be the default of an American and not have to share.”
Giridharadas then made the following prescient statement.
“So I have been trying as a practice because I'm as despairing as everybody else right now to remember that what we are witnessing in so many of these dark days is backlash,” Anand said. “It's not the engine of history. It's a backlash against the engine of history. These people that you're seeing are not the future. They are the barnacles on the future.”
It could not be said any better.
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