The nightmare is over. Donald Trump is finally gone. But before exiting the Presidency in disgrace, he encouraged violence by encouraging his fanatic followers to march to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to pressure members of Congress not to certify the results of the November election.
A large mob broke into the Capitol—an event without precedent in American history that left at least five people dead. It was an attempted coup, a violent way to take over a legitimate government.
This act of vandalism shocked part of our society. Ironically, this type of violent action is promoted by the United States abroad to throw out governments that Washington doesn’t like. What goes around comes around.
This is a moment to reflect about the behavior of our society and the violent behavior of the United States abroad. It is time to work more closely with other societies and stop promoting coups around the world.
Washington needs to put its words where its mouth is and learn to work with other societies and leaders instead of invading countries and killing foreign leaders. The list of coups promoted by the United States is long. And we cannot condem violence in our own society while simultaneously promoting violence abroad (read Will the Real State Sponsors of Terrorism Please Stand Up?).
There are all kinds of violence.
It is violence to impose the will of one group that violates basic rights on the rest of society. Voter suppression is a form of violence. To try to discard thousands of votes—known as “decertification”—to change the outcome of an election is violence.
These two forms of violence were promoted by the now former President, Donald Trump, with the support of his enablers, including several members of Congress from the Central Valley—Republicans, of course. Read related stories in this issue of the Community Alliance: Congressional Members Who Sought to Disenfranchise Communities of Color Targeted and Pro-Trump Insurrection Has Valley Links.
Finally, the vaccine to control Covid-19 is here. However, supplies are insufficient and the distribution is slow and inefficient—another inheritance of the Trump administration that will take some time to fix.
But there is hope that the vaccine will help to control the pandemic. If so, even though life will not be the same as before, at least we should be able to return to some sense of “normalcy.”
In the meantime, let’s keep listening to health experts to help ourselves and others. We will not change the minds of the vaccine and mask deniers, but we can help people around us to be safe.