The assault on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. has shaken this country to its very core, except for Black Americans. White America has a tendency to moan, “Oh my God, that is not who we are.” But Black America knows that is exactly who you are. For the most part, White America has lived a myth. The idea that this country lives by high ideals and moral values has been a lie since its inception. The Founding Fathers were not idealists and moralists, they were pragmatic businessmen, more interested in maintaining the economic value of the slave system over freedom for the captives from another land. The children of the Founding Fathers had no problem slaughtering the Native Americans while taking their land under some misguided assumption that it was their responsibility in order to bring civilization to the western lands of the country. They called those vicious acts the “White Man’s Burden” or “Manifest Destiny.” They had no problem running the Mexicans out of Texas in order to open that state to slavery.
White America might argue those are the sins of the past, forgive their ancestors, and still maintain that this country has an exceptional democracy. But that is also not true. At best America has a flawed democratic system, seeking to reach perfection. That is what it had been in the past and that is what it is today. Those thousands of rioters that attacked the Capitol are not the exception to the rule but are a part of the mindset that makes this a flawed democracy. They are the children of generations of White Americans, who wreaked a torrid attack on Black Americans throughout the history of this country. While this bludgeoning of a people was carried out in the South and parts of the North, the rest of White America looked on and made that same statement, “That is not who we are.”
It must have been a harrowing experience for White America to watch as their Capitol was attacked by the vicious mob. It was, however, a harrowing experience for millions of Black Americans who watched the attack of their fellow brothers and sisters during the 1960s in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama. It is a harrowing experience for Black Americans today as they watch racist policemen kill young Black men and women regularly in this country, only to have District Attorneys bring no charges against the killers.
As the great iconic Black leader Malcolm X said when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, now that the “Chickens have come home to roost,” maybe White America will better understand what one segment of this country has tolerated for years. Black America can empathize with your struggle to accept that these very same people, who have attacked us over the centuries are now attacking you. They have no loyalties but to their racist and xenophobic mentality. If it means taking out the elected officials of this country, they are very capable of carrying out such an act. We always knew and now you also know.