Last updated on April 9, 2021
This is a bad place in history. Apparently half of the GQP thinks the 1/6 insurrection was left-wing activists trying to make Trump “look bad”, accordingly, MSM thinks Biden has “tamed” the left.
The administration’s warm relationship with the left is one of the most surprising aspects of the Biden presidency, particularly after a bitterly fought primary campaign where many liberals saw Biden as too close to Republicans and too timid to enact bold change.
The coronavirus pandemic and millions of job losses have changed the political landscape in ways that have aligned Biden’s agenda more closely with the left, as the administration pushes for broad liberal policies as a way to recover from the pandemic.
But the honeymoon could also be short-lived. Biden is entering a period of complicated negotiations on Capitol Hill over his jobs and infrastructure plan, which is almost certain to result in setbacks for the left. Many of the liberal wing’s biggest priorities — including a major voting rights bill and gun control legislation — lack support from some moderate Democrats, potentially dooming them in the Senate.And an overly close relationship poses risks for both sides. Liberal leaders could lose credibility with supporters, particularly if Biden does not make progress on items such as increasing the minimum wage or defies them on other key issues. Likewise, if Biden appears too cozy with the left wing of the party, it could help Republicans paint him as a radical or a socialist — a narrative that the GOP failed to carry off during the 2020 campaign.
How Joe Biden tamed the left — at least for now https://t.co/THJX37UqrP
— Post Politics (@postpolitics) April 4, 2021
“Half of Republicans believe the [January 6] siege was largely a non-violent protest or the handiwork of left-wing activists ‘trying to make Trump look bad.’” https://t.co/VSgktguhpU
— Adam Rifkin 🐼 (@ifindkarma) April 6, 2021
What is it about the spectacle of lynching that so many white people wanted to be photographed with the victim:
"Motionless Black bodies have been the tableau upon which the American story has unfolded," writes @CharlesMBlow, and George Floyd’s body "is sadly but one of the latest examples." https://t.co/4QO5j2KSMI
— New York Times Opinion (@nytopinion) April 6, 2021
As we work to remove statues that distort the past, we should also recognize histories that have never been commemorated officially. This includes stories of resistance — even armed, violent resistance — to racial oppression. A true reckoning with the past must be expansive and democratic. It must work to give voice to forgotten stories and to remedy silences, recovering events and figures that challenge simplistic narratives of the past.
In the end, the story of Robert Charles is useful precisely because it is such a challenging one. A full accounting of Charles’s actions must grapple with the violence and indignities of Black life in the Jim Crow South. From this perspective, it is almost impossible not to sympathize with his attack on an unjust racial regime.
At the same time, one cannot overlook the fact that Charles killed seven people. Was he a hero or a villain? A murderer or a martyr?These moral ambiguities make the story of the 1900 riot a particularly valuable one for students of history, forcing us to ask ourselves what we believe and why we believe it. Given the continuing challenges of racism, policing, violence and incarceration in the contemporary United States, such considerations are especially valuable. The tale of Robert Charles still has many lessons to teach.
In other news:
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