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In the same "No, this is very much who we are" vein:

Wake Up, America. This Is Who We Are.

To believe that this is "not who we are" -- that our country has always respected democratic (small-d) processes and election outcomes -- one has to erase the first eight decades of the American experiment, when most African Americans were held as property and very few free Black people in the North were permitted to vote. One also has to discount the years between 1876 (at a minimum) and 1965, when in at least one-third of the country, people of color were violently forbidden to exercise the franchise. Women were uniformly denied the vote prior to 1920, of course.

But this is no longer a Southern problem. It is a national problem.

You can't have a democracy if only one party adheres to its principles and norms and the other party opts out of the rules. We don't need to look to other countries to know this is true. We only need to dust off an American history book to understand how high we've climbed, but also how low -- and how quickly -- we can fall.
by Bernard on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 11:52:35 AM EST
And another:

These Capitol riot pictures shouldn't surprise you. They show an American truth. | Opinion - Philly Enq.

To say "this is not America" suggests that Wednesday's events were an aberration or anomaly. But for those who have chronicled the president's supporters for the last few years, it was the unsurprising and even inevitable culmination of consistently violent, racist, and autocratic rhetoric.

[...]

Pictures are powerful not only because they provoke an emotional response, but also because they constitute a critical part of the historical record. They encourage society to reflect on, and remember, the events that cumulatively form the American experience. When you examine the photographs of Wednesday's insurrection alongside images of other historical events, you begin to realize, perhaps, that this is America.

This European was not familiar with past US events like the Battle of Liberty Place in NOLA in 1876 or the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, so I really did learn something.

by Bernard on Sun Jan 10th, 2021 at 05:34:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Capitol Rioters Weren't `Low Class' - The Atlantic
The notion that political violence simply emerges out of economic desperation, rather than ideology, is comforting. But it's false. Throughout American history, political violence has often been guided, initiated, and perpetrated by respectable people from educated middle- and upper-class backgrounds. The belief that only impoverished people engage in political violence--particularly right-wing political violence--is a misconception often cultivated by the very elites who benefit from that violence.

The members of the mob that attacked the Capitol and beat a police officer to death last week were not desperate. They were there because they believed they had been unjustly stripped of their inviolable right to rule. They believed that not only because of the third-generation real-estate tycoon who incited them, but also because of the wealthy Ivy Leaguers who encouraged them to think that the election had been stolen.

by Bernard on Tue Jan 12th, 2021 at 07:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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