In the storming of the capitol building — in all of the imagery, tweets and coverage — the one thing that stands out is the rioter Elizabeth, from Knoxville, TN. Leaving the capitol after claiming that she was maced, she says “we’re storming the capitol it’s a revolution.”
Revolution; as in an overthrow of a government, in most cases being led by lower classes of society.
Class is usually viewed through the lens of economics, the rich and the poor. However, in America class is solely defined through the idea of race.
In every aspect of American society the race in which you present yourself will determine how difficult or how easy you can move within society. This idea shows itself in the wealth gap of Black and White Americans, the likeliness of child incarceration, and prevails in all levels of socioeconomic status.
While White Americans do deal with class struggle, this is not what this was.
This was not the mobilization of a lower class on the government for years of exploitation and misrepresentation. It was not a disenfranchised group militantly demanding the better treatment of their people from police brutality. And this was not people holding their elected officials accountable.
This was a group of people who are mad that their candidate lost in an election.
The actions that were shown all over the news channels were an embarrassment to what those same White Americans say America should be. The storming of the capitol building was a demonstration of a failure to live up to the values that they created.
But this showcase of domestic terrorism was not unforeseen. It was stoked by the American president not only for the past four and a half years but more recently during the eve of the election.
President Trump started peddling constantly disproved conspiracies that the election was rigged and that he would be and is the true winner of the election. That was all his base needed to embolden them to siege the capitol.
Now we are at two opposing ideas of the same American tradition of lies.
The first is our sense of exceptionalism. That America is the greatest country ever erected in the face of morals we will always choose to be on the right side of history. History has shown us that America cannot be, without the absence of morals.
The second and current lie is that we are better than the worst of us. This past presidential term alone has shown that we can and have let the worst of us govern, showing who we have always been.
In these times we try and look for hope. But every time we attempt to move forward, we see that there will be those who will see that the standard of white supremacy is kept at whatever cost, even if it means the destruction of their own nation.