Do not for a second believe that the events of January 6th, 2021, in which domestic terrorists assaulted the United States Capitol, were fomented only by the words of Donald Trump. The sitting president is a habitual, unrepentant liar and his constant spew of hateful, untruthful rhetoric is of dire consequence for America.
But he is not alone.
A shocking number of congressional Republicans, more than I care to list here, have ardently supported Trump’s lies while others have furthered them and still more have silently abetted them. There is, above and beyond these disgraced politicians, an entire media apparatus designed to increase and profit from the fear and resentment of those who support Trump and his Republican allies. These active agents of incitement are, like their maniacal commander, not alone.
The attack on the Capitol could only occur in the fashion that it did because of America’s rich history of systemic injustice. An attack on the Capitol, encouraged by the President, is state sponsored terrorism. That this primarily white terrorism was met with less resistance than countless instances of peaceful protests by people of color is state sponsored bigotry. We live in an unjust nation where what you do means less than what you say and what you say means less than what you look like. This is terrible, this is embarrassing, this is dangerous. And yet, as I sit here, watching the news late into the night, it’s these three words that keep ringing in my mind:
This is America.