January 6th, 2021 will be remembered as one of the darkest moments in American history. I watched in dismay as domestic terrorists stormed the people’s house, the US Capitol, an insurrection on American soil. I watched as a violent mob pushed through barricades, scaling walls, smashing windows, making it inside of a federal building. An egregious act at the request of a demagogue seated in the office of the president.
This blatant display of disrespect-a sea of whiteness, moving effortlessly without consequence or impunity. The siege on the Capitol reflects a confluence of entitlement, power, privilege, and white supremacy — This is America: the red, the white, and the blue.
The sedition witnessed is the unequivocal result of four years of the complicity and the incitement of the Trump administration through the litany of excuses to justify corruption, propaganda, anti-Blackness, racism, sexism, homophobia, and the abhorrent behavior for the benefit of keeping white supremacy supreme.
The playing devil’s advocate, the justification of racialized language and “freedom”of hate speech, the “let’s agree to disagree”, the “all political sides matter”, and most significantly, the dismissal of the continued warnings from Black people and other marginalized communities who predicted that this day would come. So, here we are, left to pick up the pieces of our failed democracy. Who will be responsible to clean up this mess, the mess of two Americas, one system that hoards power and one that strips others of their humanity?
This is not a time for revisionist history. This is not a time for “we shall overcome”, as the dream of a just America has been forfeited. White grievance and violence continues to inflict trauma onto our psyche, a legacy passed down from generation to generation. This uncomfortable truth is America’s original sin and perpetual struggle, the manifestation of the denial that has for centuries thwarted repair and reconciliation. It is time that we confront this ugly truth. Silence will not save you, or the collective us. America, take a hard look in the mirror: We are not better than this. We didn’t just get here today. Own this truth. There can be no healing without accountability. We can’t just move on. We need to be truthful and admit this is who we are and who we have always been. This moment is asking us to be intentional about who we are and who we want to be for the future. How will you speak truth to power in the fight for liberty and justice for all?
We can’t just move on.
Ralinda Watts, a native of Los Angeles, is a diversity expert, consultant, educator and writer who works at the intersection of culture, identity, race, and justice, sparking thoughtful conversations on what matters most; authenticity! The #RalindaSpeaks podcast is available on Apple, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Connect with me on IG & Twitter @Ralinda Speaks.