By Nathaniel E. Hocker on January 16, 2021
Many keep asking what is happening in America today. How naive a question. What is going on in our country is nothing short a display of white privilege, white fear, and yes, white innocence . . . at least in the Capitol rioters’ minds – the latter in particular. The politics of idiocy is both on display, and defined by an ideology rooted in alternative reality. Who does this particular brand of politics benefit? Well, certainly not black, indigenous, or any people of color. In fact, it only makes our lives worse! White people have long since been able to revel in the privilege of “making great stink”, and suffering the slightest smack on the hand as punishment. Had the recent so-called: “Capitol Siege”, been a BIPOC-led effort; swift consequences would assuredly be the result of an open and shut case. Why? This is the land of the free, home of the brave – as we often decree. But what does freedom mean in a country that warrants it only for a few? And what does being brave mean for those who are under the weight of systems designed to punish their very being? I would write plainly that this is the land of paper freedom, the home of white supremacy. If this statement shocks you; the library is accessible via any technological device.
America is still the very same country today as it has always been, divided. Is it possible to slash the tires on the vehicle of white supremacy and stop the continued motorcade of hate in its tracks? It will certainly take time, as that opportunity is becoming more and more bleak as time passes. This recent Capitol Siege is one of the greatest displays of white privilege I have witnessed. Punishment for these insurrectionists will be studied and dragged out for years to come – like most acts of domestic terrorism in America. There simply are not enough towels to sop up this madness. And what these so-called “Liberators” are after, is at best, heinous – an ethno-centric country defined by whiteness, built for whiteness, and based on white-freedom. The latter is ironic, as “white-freedom” or “white privilege”, is an unconscious trait of whiteness, and has been publicly ‘justified’ since our country’s inception. There is nothing pure about this kind of ideology, even as some seek to add-in the ‘Nazi’ element to this pursuit of ethnocentricity. Ever apparent amidst the siege, was Nazism. Some chose to wear t-shirts that displayed: “6MWE” (meaning: 6 million Jews weren’t enough), the day of the siege. Disgusting.
I continue to ask: Are we as a country really after unity? Are we really seeking to become “one”? I beg to differ on both counts. An ethno-state is not whole, it is segregation. It is comfort for a few, racism disguised by both religion and patriotism. My faith calls me to recognize the “inherent worth and dignity” in all peoples, yet I struggle to find any semblance of hope in the circle of life I live in – miniscule shreds perhaps, and mostly on paper. I would venture to write that most people feel this way. If unity is what we want, then the experience of other cultures would not be a prejudice for so many. Hope would not be felt just on the Holidays of MLK Day or Juneteenth – in the month of February even . . . What The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke on frequently, love and peace, social justice and unity, must either be intentionally pursued or simply disregarded, frankly. Furthermore, the social justice ministry of Jesus has somehow gone by the wayside for many white evangelical Christians to boot. And where are they in this time, when even their institutions are being held as partly responsible for such insurrection?
The recent domestic terrorist act of “charging the Temple of Democracy” in the name of God, is but another continued example of how awful we can expect our future to be, if we are not willing to address hate. Falling in love with rioting, murder, capitalism, greed, betrayal, false realities, white supremacy, conspiracy theories, and treason, are not ideals to do with “liberation for all”. These elements of evil are quite the opposite toward the unification of people living in the same stolen country. How dumb can one possibly be? I believe this bunch has answered that question – both in their intentions and acts on that day. We cannot continue to act like a dog who sees snow for the first time whenever something like this takes place by people who have become aroused by fascism. We knew from day one that when Donald J. Trump decided to run for office, it would be absolute chaos – it is. Our future might be defined by the justice we pursue toward eradicating Trumpism that has veiled the world for the last 4 years. Not to mention, Donald J. Trump’s words, like Hitler, have sparked rising “fear” in privileged people. This fear is partly based on the fact that they feel their voices have not been heard. I guess it would be hard to imagine not seeing “white-control” at the head of a nation built for whiteness, on stolen land, on the backs of a stolen people – as a white person.
I am speechless by the “fear(s)”, however, had by people who never have to worry . . . never have to worry about the true definition of freedom, never have to worry about being born a target as a result of skin tone, never have to worry about breathing tomorrow as a result of fearing what the police may do, never have to worry about stepping out in your own front yard and being shot before being questioned, never have to worry about going to bed and being gunned down at home upon awakening, never have to worry about falling asleep in your college dorm and deemed a trespasser by police, never have to worry about grilling in a public park, never have to worry about moving into any neighborhood, never have to worry about the repercussions for speaking up about injustice, never have to worry about being guilty before proven innocent, never have to worry about being followed in the mall while browsing, never have to worry about being tokenized, never have to worry about jogging down the sidewalk . . . never have to worry about being . . .
Unfortunately, the task of future administrations will be cleaning up the garbage that has piled up from this so-called attempt to “Make America Great Again”. As a country, we have never been great, and may never become fully aware of what I and others know to be hindrances to becoming better. As livid as I was in witnessing such a coup on our capitol, I am also aware that this will not be the last – as these “innocent” ones have promised. The “Lord of the Rings”-fortress that Washington D.C. has become in preparations for the upcoming inauguration is certainly a sight to behold. If barbed wire, increased security to the tune of the National Guard, and forced emptied space is what it takes to transition peacefully, what in the world does the next generation have to look forward to? The efforts toward peace, looking ahead to politics in America, are both scary and farfetched! With the likes of radical-fascist social media platforms – one such: “Parler” – and conspiracy theory platforms – one such: “Qanon”; continues to serve as fuel for the torch of hate. What is it going to take to understand that these are not mediums for “free speech”, rather, they are mediums employed to continually promote white supremacy, and give rise to act freely as an individual or collective on those notions to halt any efforts toward a more peaceful future. This includes a coup-de-tat on our nation’s capitol by people on the wrong side of reality – who choose to be a so-called “alternative” – while riding across a bridge to nowhere.
White supremacy is not a hoax and certainly not going anywhere – lest we finally get uncomfortable and arm ourselves with the courage to chop it at the root. We are long overdue in braving the opposition to what continues to overshadow our betterment. The unraveling of America we are witnessing, is perhaps the karma that has been forthcoming since 1619. While some continue to falsely incite that America was founded on Christianity; we have to speak the truth in saying, Jesus – not the white one we have been indoctrinated with, is frowning on who we are. I can imagine the same responses from Buddha, Muhammed, and other prophets about the realm of religious spheres worldwide. For centuries, Christianity in particular has served as a disguise to promote and indoctrinate people with a certain politic(s) and branding, rooted in false theological interpretation. This, again, was present in the coup, as folks proudly waved Christian creedal signage while storming the capitol. Not agreed with by all Christians of course; the mainstream of white supremacists who pose as pastors and so-called “God-fearing” persons, continue to push false narratives and indoctrinate with false theologies – politics included. No shock there either . . .
I continue to tell myself that this cannot possibly be the year 2021. Is this really the America our ancestors dreamed about? Of course it isn’t. They knew as well as those “woke” today, however, that the task of change would be impossible for those who do not want it. Dr. King puts it plainly – from his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech: “When we look at modern man, we have to face the fact…that modern man suffers from a kind of poverty of the spirit, which stands in glaring contrast to his scientific and technological abundance; We’ve learned to fly the air like birds, we’ve learned to swim the seas like fish, and yet we haven’t learned to walk the Earth as brothers and sisters…” True in 1964 as it is today; we have not progressed as much as some would like to believe. The comfortability of whiteness in America is sickening to say the least, and should not be defined by white supremacy solely. The lack of accountability in this country, to add, ever favors the chances for increased BIPOC imprisonment, a continued decrease in BIPOC wealth, and the continuation of BIPOC murder by the slave patrol, otherwise known as the “Police”, frankly. I think it fair to say that there is nothing better than walking in “innocent” white skin. After all, American systems in place, from the Criminal Justice System to Healthcare, were designed to favor whiteness. Contrary to the misheld belief by many, these systems are not broken. They are working perfectly . . . for whiteness, that is. It seems that when the sphere of whiteness is penetrated or challenged by the other – BLM Movement for example – retaliation in the form of fragility ensues. Again, to be expected – no shock there either . . .
Who would not want to have the complexion for all protections? If my skin were white, perhaps the racial sieges I experience almost daily would cease. I can only imagine – as a white person; the freedom to actually be free . . . what an experience that would be!
White supremacy is not innocent.