It is almost impossible for an American not to have been impacted by the events of January 6, 2021. That was the day that a crazed mob of racist, white supremacist, reactionary, cult-like people who believed the big lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election. In addition to breaching the walls and doors of the US Capitol building, they went on a rampage destroying property, desecrating the Senate Chamber, rifling through lawmakers desks, and urinating and defecating in the halls of the Capitol. As the days and weeks pass, we see more video of disgusting behavior and recognize that more than mere vandalism, this attempted coup and insurrection also resulted in the death of at least 5 people.
Hours and days later after the insurrection was quelled Congress came back into session and completed the task they were originally slated to do—count the Electoral College votes to formally recognize the victory of Joseph R. Biden and Kamala Harris as President and Vice-President of the United States. However, more than 100 Republican Representatives continued with their objections along with a half dozen Senators to the electoral votes from a few states (Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania). Fortunately, the will of the majority of the electorate prevailed and all the votes were counted to reveal what we already knew. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were the duly elected next President and Vice President.
Over the next few days, the House of Representatives initiated a second impeachment against Donald Trump for his part in inciting a riotous coup designed to subvert the Constitution of the United States. Voices on both sides of the Congressional aisle rose to speak in favor of or against the motion to impeach Donald Trump. While those against impeachment often cited the fact that Trump had less than 2 weeks left in his term, the big talking point was that we shouldn’t impeach him because we want to heal the divisions that have wracked the country. As I watched incredulously, I talked back to my television saying, “Oh now you want to be unified? After you have spent the last 4 years (actually last 12 if you count all the divisiveness they sowed during the Obama Administration) making sure the country was divided, you want to speak of unity!
I have nothing against unity. A people who are unified are stronger. A unified nation is likely to be more prosperous and productive. But there are some things we should not unify with. We should not unite with the forces designed to oppress and destroy us. We should not unite with morally objectionable causes. We should not unite with evil. What we saw at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 was evil and that evil was encouraged and incited by the then President of the United States. The evil that Congressmen and women want us to unite with include policies that allow for separating children at the nation’s Southern border, corrupt business practices that funnel public monies into the President’s private interests, duplicitous census procedures that attempt to subvert the Constitution’s mandate to take an accounting of all the “persons” in each state and District of Columbia, environmental policies that threatened subsequent generations, health policies that take no responsibility for the death of almost 400,000 people along with months of inaction, voting restrictions that suppress the electoral power of millions of Black, Brown, and other people of color, law enforcement practices that continuously kill Black people with impunity, and white supremacist dog whistles that threaten to over throw the government and the voices of 80 million voters.
I will unite with parents of children whose first language is other than English, even though mine is, so their children can receive a decent education. I will unite with homeless people, even though I am not homeless, so they can receive adequate shelter. I will unite with immigrants, even though as an African American I am not an immigrant, to ensure they receive fair hearings as they seek asylum. I will unite with prisoners, even though I am not in prison, as they seek decent conditions and adequate legal representation. I will unite with the disabled, even though I do not have a disability, as they fight for accessibility and opportunity. I will unite with anyone who experiences marginalization, oppression, racism, and sexism whether or not I fall into the category of otherness being challenged. But I will NOT unite with evil!
Stay Black & Smart!