Let’s Not Lose Sight Of The Revolution That Is By Focusing On The Coup That Wasn’t
When it concerns democracy in America, it might be reasonable to conjure up Charles Dickens’ opening expression of his unique A Tale of 2 Cities to identify this minute: “It was the very best of times, it was the worst of times . . . “
Most just recently, because the January 6 violent storming of the Capitol, media protection has actually focused fanatically on the worst of these times: the anti-democratic arranged riot focused on taking control of the Capitol in the name of Donald Trump and white supremacy and at reversing the governmental election Joe Biden won last November.
This compulsive focus is not without factor. We discover more and more every day about the orchestration of this occasion, the crucial gamers, its fatal objectives, and the capacity, even likely, participation of a few of our own congressional leaders. In other words, we are discovering more and more about the forces arranging the effort to avert development towards the accomplishment of democracy in the United States by keeping and firmly insisting upon the status quo of white supremacy. And we require to reveal and comprehend as much as we can about this arranged anti-democratic riot and the future strategies of those included.
However this particular focus has actually likewise obscured the most cheerful, appealing, and truly innovative advancement in America that must provide us hope in the possibilities for in fact accomplishing democracy in America.
I’m speaking about Black citizen turnout and the companies, such as Black Citizens Matter and Fair Battle Action, which played a massive function in activating this vote versus the leviathan collective business to reduce the Black vote, to preserve our anti-democratic white supremacist political system.
When we take a look at the record Black citizen turnout in the 2020 governmental election and in the Georgia senate run-off election, we need to acknowledge this phenomenon as an American Transformation, or insurrection, certainly.
We might even call these efforts THE American Revolution for true democracy–the best of times for achieving democracy in America. After all, the American Revolution against British colonial rule in 1776 did not target white supremacy and thus did not instore a full and genuine democracy. That was left to be realized. Indeed, as Chip Berlet and Matthew Lyons argue in their historical study Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close for Comfort, the struggle for independence in 1776 not only “promoted a form of anti-elite scapegoating that deflected discontent away from the inequities within colonial society,” it “was also a drive to expand and intensify the system of White Supremacy. People of color were not simply ‘left out’ of the Revolution—they were among its targets.”
The challenge to citizen suppression is a renewal of this revolution with the goal of achieving democracy for all—or, rather, democracy itself, as we can’t really call democracy for some a real democracy. White supremacy is a form of authoritarianism, so we need to acknowledge we’ve been living, are living, in an autocratic system. As I wrote in an earlier piece, racism isn’t simply a defect of our democracy; it’s a negation of democracy.
And we need to recognize that the violent takeover of the Capitol was a response to this revolution occurring in the name of democracy against white supremacy.
The storming of the Capitol has wrongly been called an “insurrection” or a “coup,” as I’ve written previously in the pages of PoliticusUsa.
It wasn’t an insurrection, or a rebellion against our established system; it was an attempt to preserve the status quo of white rule that the surge in African American suffrage has threatened.
It’s important we understand the causal relationship between the revolutionary black voter turnout and the violent repressive takeover of the Capitol.
We need to talk about and positively reinforce the democratic possibility this revolution, this overcoming of voter suppression, represents so we who desire democracy know where and how to direct our energies and resources and so we can clearly see the already paved path to achieving democracy.
Watching the news these days and seeing our Capitol peopled with masses of military personnel, one may be fooled into thinking that only possible response to a concerted campaign to perpetuate suppression is more suppression.
We have seen that an incredibly effective antidote to suppression is relentless organizing to enable and release the full force of our democratic energies.
Achieving democracy through mere suppression will not work; it’s a fool’s errand.
To return to the opening of A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens also characterizes the historical moment he represents, writing, “ . . . it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. . .”
Let’s be careful not to choose foolishness and endorse suppression as the means of achieving freedom.
Let’s be sure to focus on how this moment is also the very best of times for the prospects of American democracy.
Dickens also in A Tale of Two Cities reminds us time again that love is always stronger than hate.
In political terms, acting lovingly in part entails fully recognizing people, hearing their voices, granting them the opportunity and right to take part in choosing and shaping the world they live in. Love means enabling expression, not repression.
Achieving democracy means favoring love over the hate we’ve experienced by the boatload the past four years and that we saw in the invasion of the Capitol. It means choosing wisdom over foolishness, rejecting war and violence.
As Ghandi reminded us, “The means is the end.” We can’t achieve freedom and peace through violence and repression.
Author bell hooks teaches us similarly when she writes about love:
All around us the culture of lovelessness mocks our quest for love. Wisdom is needed if we would restore love to its rightful place as a heroic journey, arduous, difficult—more vital to human survival and development on planet Earth than going off to slay mythical dragons, to ravage and conquer others with war or all other forms of violence that are like war. Wisdom is needed if we are to demand that our culture acknowledge the journey to love a gran, magical, life-transforming, thrilling, risky adventure.
Too many in America, caught in throes of misinformation and conspiracy theories, are busy slaying mythical dragons rather than engaging in the truly wise, loving, and heroic activities of the real transformation for democracy.
Tim Libretti is a professor of U.S. literature and culture at a state university in Chicago. A long-time progressive voice, he has actually published many academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which he has actually gotten awards from the Working Class Research Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Female’s Press Association.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.