While America’s story has not always been heroic, it has been sustained by a belief that justice and equality will prevail, even during our worst moments. The difference today, however, are several converging factors deteriorating our discourse and contributing to civil unrest. Namely, citizens united and the enormous amounts of dark money perverting our politics. The elimination of the fairness doctrine, which opened the flood gates to conservative hate speech, and the unregulated wild west of social media, which has spoon-fed propaganda and racist paranoia to those with a limited understanding of history and government.
The MAGA rallies, like the Tea Party protests before them, have never been about constitutional infringements or personal freedoms. Underlying the anger of MAGA extremism are decades of economic frustration, which has been successfully deflected by the real culprits, and turned into a white rage that scapegoats’ those of color. The reality is by 2040, the US will have a minority white population. This browning of America has been the perfect ruse to distract MAGA loyalists, who are afraid of losing their power and political status to those who have been defined as less undeserving. The underlying issue is the nation has never properly addressed the original sins of slavery or healed the wounds of the civil war. That’s why we have confederate monuments everywhere, and why a confederate flag was on the U.S. capital during the MAGA insurrection. That’s why Lincoln was assassinated, why reconstruction ended, and why Jim crow laws were enacted. That’s why voter suppression exists. Why a law enforcement officer felt entitled to slowly murder George Floyd on a city street in the middle of the afternoon. That’s why thousands of extremists were incited by a vulgar candidate with a long history of racists history to storm the capital and trample democracy.
If there was one single moment when the veil of racial equality collapsed, it was when domestic terrorists sieged the US Capitol. Following years of petty grievances, racial paranoia and white privilege, Trump managed to convince a coalition of simpletons, consisting of; white supremacists, evangelical Christians, gun-nuts and conspiracists that he was their solitary hope against a merciless government. In reality, the delusions of a madman in a red baseball cap didn’t change conservative white America, they simply revealed them.