Living, working, and surviving as a black man in a national community that sees you as an inferior, from time to time the question is asked, ‘ do you think there will be a second civil war?’ In my lifetime, I remember the question being asked when my great-granny clutched herself and exclaimed “ Oh no, there it goes” when a neighbor informed her that John Kennedy had been assassinated. The question was asked again as my neighborhood burned following the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The questions again intensified as gun sales rose and militias armed themselves after the election of America’s first black president, Barack Obama. Of course, past generations of enslaved-Negroes, Coloreds, Afro-Americans, Blacks, and African Americans have their own generational stories of fear; slave catchers, the ending of Reconstruction, Jim Crow, Tulsa, and Rodney King.
Still, throughout all that history, I would reject my friends who suggested civil war with the same dismissive tones as I do QAnon. Of course, I recognize the obvious differences, one being borne of historical atrocities and the other the product of delusional rantings. Despite the Strom Thurmond(s), Jesse Helms(s), and Robert Byrd(s) there was always enough opposition or recognition of past sins not to allow the country to inflict that type of harm on itself once more. I am not naïve enough or foolish enough to believe, as the former Attorney General stated, that systemic racism [policing] in America is a “false narrative.”
For the first time in a generation, one of our major political parties is purposefully enhancing its’ racist, xenophobic, and anti-Semitic direction that is all too familiar to America’s sordid past of excuse-making and acceptance of the unacceptable. The last time Washington, DC openly welcomed an identified hate group, with the same pervasive ideology that is taking over the Republican party, was when the KKK, in their cowardly hooded regalia, marched down Pennsylvania Ave. in 1926.
Instead of hooded anti-Americans adorned in hoods and robes emblazoned with the “Blood Drop” Cross, on January 6th, they wore red caps and cardboard cutouts of the letter Q. Instead of being symbolized by an Imperial Wizard, their new face was a Q-Shaman, different tune same song. Currently, Democratic House Members are in literal fear, in some cases for their lives, to the point that Rep. Cori Bush moved her office to avoid a confrontation with a QAnon follower. In part, she stated, “What I cannot do is continue to look over my shoulder wondering if a white supremacist in Congress is conspiring against me and my team” said Rep. Bush.
In 1858 the House of Representatives erupted into a full-scale brawl, with slavery and race being at the center of the controversy. So as the primarily Democratic members of Congress legislate and navigate their way through the threats on their lives from the public and their colleagues, instigated by the former president, racial animus as a motive for violence is real. On this first day of Black History Month, when we have mounting evidence of members of Congress, police and military taking part in a coup d’état to perpetuate racial superiority; ask yourself why it took the public execution of George Floyd and an insurrection to believe the truth about systemic racism?
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