An attempted coup, you say? *Looks on in Black Twitter*
Welp. 2021 is in full “Hold my beer” mode. A mere 6 days in, we have not only had to deal with global surges in Covid-19 cases, but we collectively watched yesterday as the Divided States experienced an attempted coup.
Like most of us my emotions ran – and are still running – high. I had to take a moment to process what happened. And tbh, I still have not fully processed it, but I think that is to be expected. It will take us all months to fully digest the events of January 06, 2021, a date that will forever live on in infamy. So bear with me as I express my not-fully-filtered thoughts on yesterday’s attempted right-wing coup at the U.S. Capitol.
On Behalf of S**thole Countries
As I write this, I am sitting here in sunny, democratic Barbados, sipping on coconut water heavily laced with schadenfreude. I think I speak for many citizens and residents of so-called “s**thole countries” when I say: “Hahahhahahaa USA. Y’all looking real third-worldy right now. Fix your own mess before inserting yourselves into other nations’ affairs.” #CivilUnrest
You’re Surprised? Really??
Stop it. Not nary a Black person is surprised by any of this. Initially shocked, absolutely. But surprised? Not for a second. We. Expected. This. If you’re surprised, it’s because you are privileged enough to ignore what has been going on right before your eyes, and what BIPOC have been protesting about for years. Or – sit with this for a minute – you just might be a racist.
When the Looting Starts…???
…Nothing happens—if the looters are white. This is not up for debate. #ISaidWhatISaid
This is also not to ignore or diminish the deaths that have occurred as a result of this insurrection. I do not, and never will, take any pleasure in another human being’s demise. However we all know that if the protestors – I mean terrorists – had been Black or brown, they would have been mown down in a hail of bullets from the outset. As Joy-Ann Reid stated:
“White Americans aren’t afraid of the cops. White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they’re committing an insurrection.”
We Do Not Want Anybody To Die – So Stop Saying That We Do
To clarify the point above: when we say “If the rioters were BIPOC they would already be dead.” it is a statement of fact. It is not a call for the capitol rioters to be killed. (Justice? Yes. Murder? No.) We are bringing attention to inequities that have to be addressed. What we want is for Amerikka to STOP. KILLING. US.
For those of you who are somehow still confused about this, Black and brown people have been gassed, arrested and/or murdered by police for:
- Being at home
- Being Black
- Getting help after a car crash
- Holding a sandwich
- Playing with a toy gun
- Protesting peacefully
- Standing still
- Wearing a hoodie
What we want is equity and equality. What we want is to be able to live.
This Attempted Coup Was Incited by The Orange One
Please stop acting like you don’t know that the orange one didn’t call for this. While he did not overtly tell his supporters to “Storm the Capitol’, he came close. He used inflammatory rhetoric as he has done for his entire presidency—and his rabble of foot soldiers was listening. Please also stop pretending that this was a last-minute, unplanned uprising, because…
It. Was. Planned.
Don’t be naive. We’ve all watched Inside Man and binged House of Cards. The domestic terrorists could not have breached the Capitol building and gotten as far as they did without help from within the ranks of the very forces tasked with keeping them out. Once again: #ISaidWhatISaid
Call a Thing a Thing
Much of the media is doing a better job than they usually do at “naming and shaming.” So kudos on that. There are still those among us, however, that are having difficulty with some definitions. Allow me to elucidate:
Instead of Riot, say: Attempted Coup
Instead of Revolution, say: Insurrection
Instead of Rioters, say: Terrorists and Insurgents
Instead of President, say: Seditionist
Instead of Trump supporters, say: Right-Wing Extremists
Instead of The President’s actions, say: The President’s Treason
Sidenote: It’s Capitol, not Capital ffs.
We Have Work to Do
This event is more proof of why a black square on social media and a re-design of a corporate logo are not enough. We MUST continue (and in many cases, start) to #DoTheWork. We cannot relax or relent. We must actively push back against racism and bigotry every single day. As anti-racism writer Sharon Hurley Hall stated:
“While this happened in the US, the rest of the world has work to do, too. So, let’s look to what just happened in the US as an example of the potential consequences when you elect bigots who are more supportive of white supremacy than democracy. and let’s also hold our own politicians accountable so we can avoid similar outcomes.”
Speaking of Work, a Word To Employers:
Please cut your employees some slack over the next several days and weeks. Few, if any, of us are ok. It feels like the world is ending. It feels like we’re under siege. We are in crisis on many fronts. Many of us are struggling financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally all at once. It is hard to focus on emails and Zoom meetings, many of which, let’s be honest, are not as urgent as you try to make them out to be.
Grant your employees a few extra paid days off. Let them leave early. Throw in a bonus if you are in the financial position to do so. Ease some of the pressure. Remember the “human” part of Human Resources. Please be kind, and exhibit some grace. We are not ok, and you can play a big part in helping us to feel somewhat more so.
On a personal level, this event has made me even more determined to do my part to fight against racism, bigotry, and demogoguery. The orange one is leaving behind a torn and tattered legacy, but be in no doubt that he has supporters all over the U.S. who share his beliefs, and who will fight to regain power and retain supremacy. So we have to fight back just as hard, if not harder. #StayFocused
Text ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix.