Politics, Race, And The History You Won’t Find Elsewhere.

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I’d rather write a 2,500-word essay on a historical subject than 500 about myself. That said, there are a few things I’d have, you know. I am a combination of contradictions, humble and arrogant, quiet but cocky, opinionated but entirely without an opinion depending on the subject. The one thing anyone who knows me would agree on is that I love to write. It’s the only way to get out the thoughts that would otherwise allow me no sleep at night.


See ya, wouldn't want to be ya.

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The President of the United States is inarguably the most powerful person on the planet. A former President typically wields a great deal of power. They usually have political clout within their party. When they speak out on issues, their words are taken seriously. Ex-Presidents are part of a small club that usually includes no more than four to five people at a time. But Donald Trump isn’t invited to the next meeting. The other club members, three Democrats and one Republican don’t want his company, and the feeling is probably mutual.

I’ve seen Citizen Trump twice in real life. Once at a Super Bowl in Minneapolis and a second time at the U.S. Open (tennis) in New York. Each time he was dressed in a suit at events where the guests are normally casual. He was surrounded by several men and his wife, a different one each time as the occasions were a few years apart. Trump was overdressed as if he had an image to maintain, and despite being in a group. He was alone. I wonder if a man like Trump has any real friends? He uses people, and they use him. What happens when he is no longer any use to them? …


In America, it Always Has

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Photo by Little Plant on Unsplash

Make no mistake. White supremacy matters now and has ever since the founding of America. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn this. America was founded on the premise that the only ones that mattered were rich, white men. The case can and should be made that class and gender have always mattered, but that is not today’s topic.

Technically, the concept of a white race didn’t exist when what would become America was discovered by Europeans. Certainly, there was nationalism, but the idea of white people being a superior race didn’t come until later. Historians mark Bacon’s Rebellion as the turning point where white became a thing. Before Bacon’s Rebellion, the vast majority of Black people in the colonies were not enslaved but indentured servants. They held more or less the same status as white indentured servants that signed a seven-year contract to pay for their passage to the colonies. Of course, Black indentured servants often had their terms extended or were subject to a lifetime of servitude for real and imagined offenses. Nathaniel Bacon led an armed rebellion against Virginia Governor William Berkley.


The Resurgence of White Supremacy

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Photo by Carol Burns

Ironically, the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday takes place as multiple white supremacist groups try to usurp democracy itself. King was a man of non-violence, yet he understood that riots were the language of the unheard. The Capitol's riot was carried out by the most heard people, incited by arguably the most heard person of all time, Donald Trump.

MLK would recognize the behavior. On March 7, 1965, he'd seen it at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, as he, John Lewis, and others tried to march into Selma to protest voter suppression. The peaceful march was televised nationally as Eugene “Bull” Connor unleashed his police force and dogs onto the protesters, injuring fifty and sending seventeen to the hospital. …


Senator Heralded For a Worthless Apology

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The junior Senator from Oklahoma, James Lankford, was shocked to discover that trying to cast out Black voters' votes would somehow be viewed as trying to cast out the votes of Black voters. Lankford signed on to a letter by fellow vote suppressor Senator Ted Cruz, trying to overthrow the election won by Joe Biden, and give it to Donald Trump. In his apology, Lankford said:

“I caused a firestorm of suspicion among many of my friends, particularly in Black communities around the state. I was completely blindsided, but I also found a blind spot.

What I did not realize was all of the national conversations about states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, was seen as casting doubt on the validity of votes coming out of predominantly Black communities like Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Detroit.


Promoting Whiteness and Hatred Sums it Up.

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Photo by Aubrey Hicks on Unsplash

More will be forgotten about Donald Trump than remembered. His involvement in scandal after scandal since before he became President has made it impossible to keep up. Forgotten will be the lies about the crowd size at his inauguration and throwing paper towels to desperate Puerto Ricans after their island was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Remembered will be his caging of brown children, being MIA during the first several months of a pandemic and inciting a riot at the Capitol.

Most Presidents, including Trump, begin thinking about their legacies before they leave office. They try to shape their accomplishments, putting the best spin on them, accentuating the positive. In Trump’s mind, the border wall segments that did get built is a plus, though Mexico didn’t pay for it. He’ll think he’s the first to get really tough on China, though his trade war cost America trillions. Ironically, one of Trump’s strengths was that he appealed to a group of Americans that previously felt left out. …


They Always Hated Him But Didn’t Dare Say So

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Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

I know Republican leadership sounds like an oxymoron, except for Mitch McConnell’s laser focus on getting ultra-right-wing judges on the federal bench and Supreme Court. There hasn’t been an example of leadership in the Republican Party worth mentioning. One man controlled everything he noticed in the Republican Party. Anything that got done by the alleged leaders was only because Trump wasn’t paying attention.

Because there was no clearly defined leadership, the wannabe leaders took it as if there were a void and began positioning themselves to be the next Trump. …


And All Those That Support Them

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Money! It’s one of the few things the Republican Party truly cares about. All of their other stated values, small government, the rule of law, and fiscal responsibility have gone out the window the past four years. Now it’s come to refusing to accept the results of a fair election and continuing the tradition of a peaceful transfer of power that made America different.

Before anyone jumps up to proclaim it unfair to tarnish all Republicans with the same brush, all Republicans still with the party are complicit and enablers of the behavior we saw on January 6th at the U.S. Capitol. The Trump-incited riot was not only predictable; it was planned in the open on the Internet. …


Too Little Too Late For Those Leaving The Trump Administration

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Photo by Caleb Perez on Unsplash

After the horror show orchestrated by President Donald Trump where a mob descended on the Capitol to disrupt Congress, refusing to acknowledge Joe Biden will be the next President. Several members of the Trump administration have declared they have had enough and tendered their resignations. I can see why four people dead, the confederate flag being waved inside the Capitol building, explosive devices found, instigated by and cheered on by the President might be unsettling. The question is, what took you so long?

Mick Mulvaney, once Trump’s Chief of Staff, resigned after the Trump incited takeover of the Capitol resulted in five deaths so far, and Trump flags and confederate flags (one and the same?) were waved throughout the Capitol. …


They Were Just a Little Exuberant

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It’s well known that white people don’t riot; that’s a Black thing. White people get a little overexcited at times, like when their team wins (or loses) a Super Bowl or a college national championship. They might cause a little incidental damage like burning buildings or police cars. But generally speaking, it’s just boys (and some girls) being boys, not like those thuggish Black people who get mad when unarmed Black people get shot in the back seven times or with their hands raised.

In June of 2020, Black Lives Matter organized a protest at the Capitol in response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, including a couple of minutes after another officer said he wasn’t breathing. Floyd was suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. Black Lives Matter got permits and conducted an orderly march and protest. Law enforcement had a massive presence, including the Capitol Police, Washington D.C. …

About

William Spivey

Writer, poet, wannabe philosopher. I write about politics, history, race, and social justice. Support me at https://ko-fi.com/williamfspivey0680

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