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A Day of Infamy: How Trumpublicans baked a cake of lies that fed the armed assault on Congress

“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy” – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on December 7, 1941

“We can now add January 6, 2021 to that very short list of dates in American history that will live forever in infamy… The final, terrible, indelible legacy of the 45th president of the United States — undoubtedly our worst.” – Chuck Schumer

On January 6 the world saw something that will place a stain on the legacy of the worst President in the nation’s history. Armed thugs stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress was in session voting to confirm the Electoral College votes. The influence of President Trump is the one and only reason the nation’s democracy stood on the precipice of ending.

He is not solely responsible. His millions of supporters, the shameful media outlets that have spread his lies for the last five years. Social media outlets have allowed his lies to spread like wildfire. Twitter gave him a platform, Facebook refused to shut down the conspiracy theories he pushed and millions of his fellow Americans stood behind him wearing MAGA hats, carrying American and Confederate flags and signs saying the election was stolen most of them mask-less while the pandemic was raging across the nation.

Many elected officials and commentators have made strong statements calling the people who stormed the Capitol building hoodlums, thugs, and many other things. What they did not call them was what they are, everyday Americans. They are the people that we are told are the salt of the earth, good, hard working, patriots. They are likewise terrorists and insurrectionists. All of the labels fit. Over seventy-four million Americans voted for the man that on January 6 fomented an attempted coup.

Republican members of Congress and state legislatures across the country have lied that the election that Trump was trounced in, was stolen. The words of a compulsive liar that has occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for nearly four years led to a deadly conclusion on January 6. Many members of this party refused to do anything other than be Donald Trump lackeys for four years.

A woman was shot and killed as a result of this terrorist attack on the Capitol on January 6. Trump once again has blood on his hands. The Republican Party that has supported this man for four years has blood on its hands. The Proud Boys who fought the police in Washington DC the day before this attack took place has blood on their hands. The white supremacists who have been a huge part of the base of Donald Trump have blood on their hands.

Far too many will make excuses for these people. They came to Washington to be a part of the Save America March. Saving America in their minds, means supporting a racist president and storming the nation’s Capitol. This is not the end of this movement. They are going to be back tomorrow. They are going to go back home and continue to promote the lies they tell because President Trump issued a video telling these people that he loves them. He never condemned them because they did what he wanted them to do. He wanted the Electoral College vote in Congress to be disrupted and that is exactly what happened. It does not matter that they reconvened later to finish their Constitutionally appointed duty.

January 6 marked the culmination of years of lies that have been accepted. Chickens came home to the U.S. Capitol to roost. The world was witness to the hypocrisy of a nation which has told the world it is the beacon of freedom, justice and liberty, all the while denying those things to many marginalized groups throughout its history.

There is an old saying that what happens in the dark will come out in the light. These past four years have been like one long continuous day where the sun refuses to go down in America. When the audio recording of then candidate Trump bragging about grabbing women by their private parts did not dissuade 62 million Americans from voting for him, the die was cast.

That exposed America and particularly White Americans who voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump as having no moral compass. When he called Mexicans rapists and many of them voted for him last November, it showed me they did not care about his insults. When he referred to the coronavirus as the Chinese flu and one-third of Asians voted for him it showed me that the insult did not hit hard enough. When he banned people from Muslim nations and many Muslims voted for him in November it told me that they did not care about his racism. When he called African and West Indian nations $h!+hole countries and people tried to say he was not a racist it told me that they don’t care that he is a racist.

As Congress pats itself on the back for doing the right thing and accepting Joe Biden as President, they don’t deserve any applause for simply doing their job. As they scrambled to escape the armed terrorists who pushed their way past armed Capitol police who did not fire a single shot to protect them, they were rightfully terrified. As armed officers escorted them back into their chambers, they were ready to condemn the President and terrorists but not willing to admit that they had allowed the disease of Donald Trump’s lies to fester and grow for over four years. They did not show courage when he continually embarrassed the nation in the eyes of the entire world. They did little to make him properly handle the global pandemic that has killed more Americans than the total number of Union troops who died in the Civil War.

Congress did not do us any favors on January 6. The biggest thing they should have done was to admit that the Electoral College is the reason the insurrection was possible. When Joe Biden received more than seven million more votes than Donald Trump it should have been over. When Hillary Clinton received more than three million more votes than Donald Trump it should have been over. No election on the planet, with the exception of the U.S. Presidential election allows the winner to lose and the loser to win. I have argued for years that it needs to go. I could care less about the reasons people come up with who support it. If it was such a wonderful system, then why is it that no other election anywhere on Earth has followed in its footsteps?

One other major thing that stood out on January 6 was the reaction of the police to armed, nearly all-white mobs who literally attempted to overturn the electoral process. Not only were they unprepared for the mob but they literally ran back into the Capitol without once firing shots, using teargas, rubber bullets, armored vehicles, pepper spray or any of the many devices we’ve seen used on peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors.

The fact that a curfew was put in place at 6pm eastern time, and the police had only arrested a dozen people by that time made me so incensed that I know my blood pressure went up. To see the kid gloves they used on this nearly all-white mob, shouted loudly and clearly to me, that their lives were seen as more valuable than the lives of thousands of Black people and others courageous enough to support them in peaceful marches who were brutalized by police for marching against police brutality.

No one will be able to say the racial double standard was not on display. No one will be able to say these people were peaceful protestors without looking like complete hypocrites. I know already someone is thinking of writing a comment saying most of these people were peaceful. No members of a mob are innocent.

The ease with which they were able to get inside the Capitol reminds me of the lynch mobs that “broke into” jails to snatch Black people out for decades across the country. I saw images of Confederate and American flags held by members of lynch mobs and the Ku Klux Klan during the heyday of Jim Crow and I saw them on January 6 as well.

When people submit to accepting big lies it has a tendency of not ending well. The lies of the federal government about Native Americans defending themselves while being called savages is an ugly American story. The lies propagated and sold by the Nazis in Germany led to the bloodiest war in the history of the planet and an attempt to wipe out the entire Jewish population of Europe.

Lies have consequences. Big lies have big consequences. Huge lies have huge consequences and Trumps lifetime of lies had consequences on January 6. What we saw was not an aberration but instead it was like the big eruption of a volcano that has been ignored. Trump has lied and his supporters have accepted and spread those lies so much so that these people honestly believe they are telling the truth. As the night wore on we heard reports of these Pro-Trumper’s continuing to wreck havoc around the country.

January 6 was a day of reckoning for America. Ignore history at your peril America. You have allowed racism to seep into the minds of people for so long that those real strong believers have convinced themselves that sharing the wealth in the richest country on the planet is equivalent to having your nation stolen from you. The Make America Great Again idea is all about making America as racist as it used to be. Racists are tired of not being able to be openly racist anymore. After the Civil Rights Movement, they went into hiding, but Donald Trump told them to come out of the closet and slam the door.

It is clear that America is at a crossroad. January 6 did not happen in a vacuum. The entitlement of this terroristic mob of White thugs is part and parcel of what America has always been. When a group of White people wanted to keep non-white people out of their neighborhoods they often rioted to keep them out. When mobs of White people felt jealous because Black people were doing too well financially, they rioted and took the wealth built by generations of hard working Black people from them. When White people decided they wanted the land Native Americans had called home for generations they simply killed them and took it.

January 6 was the quintessential example of White privilege and entitlement. We did not accomplish anything special. We further exposed our nation for what it is. The moral high ground ran away from America. These were Americans acting like people we call savages and “third-world” people and “banana republic” residents. Americans are not better than anyone else despite their superior sense of arrogance that they are.

On 01/06 you saw America’s Pastor Jim’s, Aunt Karen’s, Uncle Bob’s and Cousin Bonnie’s on display. This is America.

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Lеаh Mіllіs

About The Author

Reggie Jackson

As an award-winning Senior Columnist for the Milwaukee Independent, Reggie Jackson covers a range of African American issues. He is also a Consultant with Nurturing Diversity Partners, and volunteers as Head Griot for America’s Black Holocaust Museum (ABHM) in Bronzeville.