I took a moment, in the interest of “fair and balanced” reporting, to tune into Fox News’ coverage of the opening of the 1/6 Committee hearing, last week. Of course, the scrolling chyron across the bottom of the screen calling it the Pelosi Committee was an obvious attempt to prejudice their viewers. At least I have to credit them for broadcasting the hearing, unlike One America News that chose to ignore the proceedings altogether. The coverage by conservative outlets was like 19th-century newspaper coverage of lynchings in America, blaming the victims; if only they had listened, only exercised the rights we give, and for Christ’s sake, our violence is your fault.
In the 19th and 20th -century, American groups of vile whites would advertise the black lynching of the week, pack picnic lunches and bring their children to witness the degradations; if it were on a Sunday they would then pray. Later they would say they were just there to witness God’s or white man’s justice and deny their revelry was part and parcel of their complicity. After all being too uppity, too successful, or too demanding of the Constitutional right to vote was egregious behavior, demanding the ultimate punishment. We had a similar repeat of that sort of gathering on January 6, 2021. Mostly white Americans, reveling, stringing a noose, carrying Confederate battle flags, and attempting to lynch America all for the sake of white man’s justice.
As much as the twisted may call the murders that happened in tree-lined fields and town squares justice, the riotous group of terrorists on 1/6 was just as unjustified. Spritzing themselves with the aerosol of political prisoners or patriots is not enough perfume to cover the stink. Much like the shots fired on Fort Sumter South Carolina, the banging and defecating on the walls of congress had the same odor of treason. The majority of Blacks in America keep working within the system, following the regulations, and depending on the rule of law, only to suffer repeated disappointments, as with Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and now The Voter Rights Act of 1965. Let us not keep fooling around with false equivalencies, lies about fraudulent voters, or recounts by a company using a name from a seventies Kung-Fu movie. This latest move to strip voting rights, just as it was—post-Civil War—is about denying people of color the right of participation because the maintaining of power demands white supremacy.
Scholars Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois debated two philosophies, “cast down your buckets where you are,” said Washington, while Du Bois advocated “the Negro Race like all races is going to be saved by its exceptional men.” When you examine the country’s history, casting down the buckets and tilling the earned 40 acres with a mule led to slaughter, pillaging, and more lynchings. Morehouse College graduate and Boston University PhD., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., an exceptional man, was repeatedly referred to as an agitator and gunned down while he admired the setting sun standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. There is no one answer or one solution but the beginning has to be the truth. So, carrying your hatred through life, claiming no complicity, and allowing the debasement of decency to rule one’s thinking is like sorting through the garbage to get clean.
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