Year 160 of the American Civil War

Today, armed terrorists waving the flag of the Confederate States of America attacked the United States government.

I said on Twitter, “I hope I see the end of the U.S. Civil War in my lifetime. It’s dragged on a century and a half already.” While that’s obviously crafted for the soundbite nature of Twitter, I’m not speaking tongue in cheek. I read a take some time ago (where, I cannot recall), which said that the Civil War had two phases. The first ended in 1865, with a victory by the Union; the second, which was called “Reconstruction,” ended in 1877 with a victory by the Confederacy. I think there’s a lot of truth in that . . . but I’m not sure it’s over even now. For a hundred and sixty years, people waving that flag have prosecuted their agenda of white supremacy with lethal violence. The intensity of the violence has ebbed and flowed, but it’s never stopped, and the flag has never truly fallen.

What happened today wasn’t a protest. It was an attempted coup by forces loyal to Confederate ideals, to overturn the results of a democratic election.

And it wasn’t unexpected. Nor was it just a few bad apples. For the terrorists to get inside the Capitol Building, one of two things has to be true: 1) the Capitol Police were shriekingly incompetent in their job of defense, or 2) they colluded with the terrorists. Since we have video of them removing the barriers, we know what the answer to that is. And even before that, twelve Republican senators — Marsha Blackburn (Tennessee), Mike Braun (Indiana), Ted Cruz (Texas), Steven Daines (Montana), Bill Hagerty (Tennessee), Josh Hawley (Missouri), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), John Kennedy (Louisiana), James Lankford (Oklahoma), Kelly Loeffler (Georgia), Cynthia Lummis (Wyoming), Roger Marshall (Kansas), and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama) — had pledged to try to block the confirmation of Biden’s victory.

And what did Donald Trump do, when called upon to stop what he had incited?

He doubled down on saying the election had been stolen, and told his terrorist backers “We love you, you’re very special.”

The Republican Party has openly abandoned democracy in favor of white supremacy. I give no pass to those who aren’t in that list of twelve; anybody who is willing to stand up and be counted with the Republican cause is giving aid and comfort to this unprecedented attack on our system of government. There are a hundred examples of how peaceful protestors in movements like Black Lives Matter (but not remotely limited to that cause) were met with violence . . . but when white supremacists storm the Capitol, the police let them in and then try to talk them down nicely. Where are the tear gas canisters and the rubber bullets when terrorists break into congressional offices and get access to the computers and the files there? Saved for use against people of color, that’s where.

This is the result of the last four years, the last fifty years, the last hundred and sixty years, the last two hundred forty-five years, the last five hundred twenty-nine years. This is racism. This is white supremacy. This is an attack on the principles and practice of democracy, in favor of one ethnicity uber alles.

It has to stop.

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