The unthinkable has happened

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

“These are the times that try men’s souls” is a quote from Thomas Paine who wrote pamphlets against the British during the American Revolutionary War. When I watched people waving flags of racist groups, the confederate flag and wearing Trump promotional garb storming the US Capitol Building, my soul was tried. This was a violent armed insurrection in the United States. Donald Trump wants to remain, president, even though he lost the election. His thugs want to try to make that happen. The unthinkable has happened. A US President has fomented insurrection in an attempt to subvert the constitution he has sworn to uphold.

Quite correctly, Trump has been impeached twice. History has branded him as the worst president in the US. His legacy is dead even though he will likely not be convicted in the Senate and lose his presidential perks and be blocked from ever standing in an election again. However, I would have let the time clock kick him out of office on January 20th. Then, I would have had a “Good Riddance” winter bonfire (throwing ALL campaign posters on the flames) party on the White House lawn. But that’s just me.

Trump wants to schedule some departure party for himself on Inauguration Day. Again, his ego will not let him think of the country first. He is angry at being held accountable for his actions. He still wants to attempt to steal Biden’s headlines, damage his first term and hold a competing event. I hope no television network or online streaming service covers it. That man’s ugliness must end somewhere. In any event, he better do it before 12 noon. One second after that, he has no legal right to even be in the White House. His dwindling list of supporters in Congress and the private sector will still back his lunacy and attend the event. It is unthinkable to misbehave like that.

How does Biden heal a country that doesn’t want to be reconciled? The Trumpers are happy in their racist, myopic crazy. They like acting out on hate. The far left is happy to implacably demand the impossible to keep turning the knife in the nation’s wounds. Biden must grapple with that conundrum and get ahead of the COVID plague that is killing over 4,000 Americans each day. Vaccines need to roll out faster. Businesses need assistance to survive, and jobs must be revived or re-created. What a poisoned chalice the White House has become.

One casualty of Trump’s madness that is not getting enough attention is that the high-flying American pro-democracy rhetoric used worldwide since WWII about free and fair elections. The US has talked big for decades about accepting defeat at the ballot box and how terrible coups are; all of that now fall flat. Currently, the USA has no credibility to comment about any other country’s electoral process, regardless of the outcome.

My first reaction in seeing those white mobs storm the Capitol building was, “how the hell did they get through?” People not living in Washington, DC must understand that there have been huge concrete barriers all around that building since 9/11. The public cannot just ‘walk’ in there and up those steps anymore.

There are heavily armed guard stations everywhere, and no cars without a pass are allowed in. And yet, these people not only entered (with cars!), armed to the teeth (there were pipe bombs on the scene), and broke into the building. Five people died in that attack.

I have demonstrated right on those streets in Washington many times in my life back in the day. Black people demonstrating over anything would have been gunned down as soon as we breached the barriers. When black people demonstrate there are riot police, national guard, attack dogs, urban tanks, tear gas, stun guns and undercover cops everywhere. I have experienced this personally. If that mob were black, there would have been dozens of body bags, hundreds wounded, and immediate arrests.

The rioters at the US Capitol were white. Their white privilege always buys them the benefit of the doubt from law enforcement. My black skin convicts me before I even open my mouth. At least lawmakers and pundits speaking about the insurrection acknowledged that ugly truth.

Obviously, some of the capitol police and a few Republican members of Congress agreed with the protestors. They helped them. More on this will be revealed in the trials and convictions that will soon come. People will cut deals for less jail time and give up names.

Those arrested must be charged with the maximum offences on the books that fit their crimes. Healing can only begin when there is a perception that justice has been done.

Unthinkable things will continue. Trump is not done yet.

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