What the insurrection tells us about where we’re at

So, it’s been a little over a year since January 6th . Think pieces bloomed. TV specials aired. Harris and Biden gave speeches. I couldn’t care less. In this country, racists rioting to get their way ain’t nothing new and how this particular example is being handled just feels like a distraction. That may seem callous, but plenty of people agree with me, including the government. According to federal law:

“Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

Seems like pretty light punishment for trying to destroy an entire country, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, it gets lighter. Did you know that most of the people at the insurrection haven’t been arrested? Did you know that out of those who have been arrested, most of them haven’t been convicted? Did you know that most of those convicted weren’t sentenced to even a single day in jail?

Does the coming fascist turn of this country frighten you? What exactly scares you about fascism? Is it the potential disregard of your vote or some other dissolving of your rights? Restricted access to resources? Something more pointed like false imprisonment or another form of state-sanctioned violence? I hate to tell you this, but you already live in that country—it’s just a little less obvious if you’re white.

It’s cliché to even mention it at this point, but we all know how last January 6th would’ve panned out had the insurrectionists been Black. We know this because all too often the penalty for simply being Black in any given situation is immediate state-sanctioned execution. Living in this country, knowing that and seeing even top democratic leaders’ complete inability to take any of this seriously, it is very difficult for me to see this as anything other than a distraction.

A distraction from what? Well, downplaying the Omicron variant just before the holidays seems like an obviously reckless thing to do, especially when the variant is certainly not as mild as the Biden administration has been implying. Then there’s the CDC changing its 10-day isolation requirement to five days without a test. Flying in the face of the medical science they’ve been telling us to trust, their admittedly economic reasons have caused a reaction that could very well be a terminal blow to the CDC’s rapidly declining reputation.   

It seems more and more of us see both the Democratic and Republican Parties functioning to serve the wealthy elite by maintaining an order for the rest of us to primarily provide for them. Yes, there are differences. Yes, our Republican 45th president objectively personifies professional, personal and spiritual failure more directly and thoroughly than any other person on record to have ever lived. And yes, his handling of COVID-19 was uniquely a cataclysm. And yet despite access to tests, vaccines and the clearest possible roadmap of what not to do, our Democratic 46th president is somehow handling the pandemic worse. Of course, we’re meant to believe that new variants predicted by all experts from the very beginning were somehow completely unforeseen. It seems almost patriotic to pretend that 2020’s anti-maskers becoming 2021’s anti-vaxxers was in any way surprising. We’re told to focus on the psychological effects closed schools have on children. At the same time, we’re never to consider the psychological effects of bringing home COVID to a vulnerable parent and joining the estimated 167,000 other disproportionately Black and brown American children orphaned by COVID.

Cases and deaths are surging yet again while shutdowns and stimulus are nowhere in sight. We all know that our 45th and 46th presidents and those in their class do not face unemployment, financial ruin or eviction. They will never face a lack of money, food or a single other resource. There are no circumstances that will force the children in their families into a COVID infected school. In the event that they face this illness, the rare medical treatments available to them are unimaginably beyond anything the average American could afford.

The immeasurable and ever-widening gulf between classes in this country is swallowing us faster than we can notice—but hey, maybe seeing some speeches and slapping a few insurrectionists on the wrists will take our minds off the fall.

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1 thought on “What the insurrection tells us about where we’re at”

  1. “our Democratic 46th president is somehow handling the pandemic worse.”

    Worse than trump?

    You’ll have a hard time convincing anyone other than Fox News hosts, and loyal, sycophantic trumpian republicans. Biden has been pushing hard for vaccine mandates, while republicans have been pushing back, even enlisting the Supreme Court to help them overturn his supposed reckless disregard for individual freedoms.

    Moreover, Biden has often referred to the Covid-19 pandemic as a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” and he’s right.

    In your failed attempt to lump Biden with trump, you left out republicans’ efforts in red states and on the Hill to keep the pandemic raging, and to squelch Biden’s attempt to suppress it.

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