- Kamsi Obiorah
How Trump Insurrectionists Gave Away the Moral High Ground of the Right
I expected Wednesday to be a day of celebration. I woke up to the projected win of Georgia Senate-elects Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The Democratic control of the Senate meant hope for the enactment of critical legislation with regards to climate change, police reform, job creation, and more. I felt the joy of Stacey Abrams and other powerful black organizers who greatly contributed to Warnock and Ossoff’s win.
My happiness was short-lived when I got news notifications on Wednesday afternoon about a Save America rally that was happening 20 minutes away from my home in Washington D.C. Thousands of Trump supporters had stormed the Capitol to disrupt the Congressional session certifying Biden’s win.
The people who fearlessly paraded D.C. on Wednesday had Trump’s name on their hats, shirts, and flags. Therefore, there is no denying the fact that his presidency amounted to nothing more than fascism. Trump’s presidency exposed the ignored existence of new age anarchists and white supremacists in America's underbelly that was present in our nation’s capital just days ago.
What doesn’t surprise me is the hypocrisy of it all. The pro-Trump rioters that endangered the lives of lawmakers through their violent protests are the same people who believe that they are the only righteous defenders of liberty in our country. Trump supporters cannot call themselves patriotic when they do not support a peaceful transition of power.
Wednesday afternoon was utterly chaotic. Videos of U.S. representatives taking shelter in the Capitol in response to the mob of pro-Trump rioters circulated major social media outlets. Hashtags like #LockHimUpNow, #Treason, and #Amerkkka were trending on Twitter.
It is important to note that people should not be comparing the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that occurred in the summer to the events that went down during the pro-Trump riots on Wednesday. Here is why.
There was no legitimate reason for there to have been pro-Trump riots in the first place. This sentiment greatly contrasts with the justifiable motives of the Black Lives Matter protests, which took place in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other victims of police brutality.
Trump supporters falsely claim that the election was stolen from them despite countless efforts that have been made to disprove allegations of voter fraud. If Joe Biden is the rightful President-elect of the United States, then these pro-Trump anarchists are not objecting or expressing their disapproval of a worthy cause.
Therefore, the Save America rally should not be compared to the Black Lives Matter protests that were inspired by recurring events of police brutality and other aspects of systemic racism, which are actual problems in American society that are worth protesting against.
In terms of damage, the Save America rally involved reports of gunshots and bomb threats at the Capitol, the evacuation of U.S. representatives, and the participation of hundreds of mask-less individuals despite the threat of the spread of COVID-19.
The most ironic part of this whole chaotic series of events is that these Trump supporters willingly gave away the GOP’s saving grace: their moral high ground. During the summer, people on the right did not hesitate before associating the Black Lives Matter protests with the occurrences of looting and rioting.
In Trump’s presidential campaign ads, he displayed images and videos of the instances of violence that occurred in some of these Black Lives Matter protests and insinuated that the left commended an America that allowed for anarchy.
Pundits on the right believed that their party was antithetical to the left’s alleged campaign of terror. However, due to the violent outburst of these Trump extremists that put the safety of our nation’s representatives at risk, members of the right have to officially remove themselves from their high horses.
The right will not be able to live this one down. They spent a considerable amount of time attributing the actions of a few violent Black Lives Matter protestors to the message of the movement as a whole. Now they have to eat crow and resurrect the party’s image, newly tarnished as a result of the pro-Trump insurrectionists.
Trump accommodationists on the right are already trying to deflect the blame of these violent protests by using their favorite hot-button word: antifa. For example, almost immediately following the pro-Trump riots, California GOP legislative leader tweeted a conspiracy theory that tied members of antifa to the events that took place on the Capitol.
A party cannot claim to be of a high moral standing and then completely fail to take responsibility for the actions of domestic terrorists that they not only enabled but encouraged.
Not to mention the fact that Trump supporters all across the country are actively comparing the intent of the American Revolution to the ill motives of the Save America rally, suggesting that the anarchists who stormed the Capitol are American heroes.
The failed insurrection that occurred on the steps of the Capitol is a visual representation of our nation’s blatant disregard for white supremacy that is embedded in our systems and institutions. On Wednesday evening, the rioters were escorted out of the Capitol, however, their imprint is still there and quite frankly has always been with us.
The presence of these white supremacists in the halls of our government have been there ever since African Americans were made a target of law enforcement and have been systematically pushed into a cycle of poverty, debt, and poor education.
Meanwhile, the very sanctity of this nation’s profound understanding of liberty has never been more threatened. These Trump extremists unironically succeeded in disrespecting the American flag that they carried around on their shoulders as they illegally paraded the halls of the House.
As a black woman, I cannot say that I am surprised by what happened on Wednesday. The violent actions of these Trump supporters remind me of the Unite the Right rallies that occurred in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The nation watched as Americans waved their Confederate flags and defended the existence of statues of slave owners and racists. Meanwhile, I went to bed those nights scared of what my future looked like in this country as a woman of color.
Here I am again in the exact same situation, unable to avoid the fact that far-right individuals are actively being protected in America. As a nation, we should all be disheartened. We must take this terrible threat to our nation’s security as a wake up call to the damning legacy of Trump’s fascist regime.