January 6th will stand in our minds as a frightening spectacle of unbridled violence and anarchy against our democratic America. Like all infamous days in our cable-news-social-media-in-your-face culture, visceral horror flooded our feeds, our lives, our living rooms, and rippled into the political arena like a firestorm not giving one hoot who or what it destroyed. And we all watched. For hours. Days. Weeks. Months. We watched as that horror was debated and dissected; as all the wordage like insurrection, coup, riot, protest and sedition were argued between politicians as if words still mattered.
Like so many of these hard dates that now populate our collective history, December 14th 2012, September 11th 2001, April 4th 1968 and August 6th 1945, January 6th 2021 was a nightmare that still causes us to sweat; yet we remain stagnant. And worse still the Republican Senators and Representatives who by all accounts aided and abetted the criminals who desecrated our Capital are on the federal payroll, yes, still. And, even worser, the man who commanded the day, still perpetuates his lies to his mob. Should we really call him the former President? Can you even? Without any shame for America? I think demagogue might be a more apt title.
As I drift along on my daily walk, the one I started during this sheltering, passing by a large expanse of water and sky, I am reminded of how slowly change comes, and when it does finally happen, it’s due to a ferocious wind driving everything out of its path. I thought of my father today, on my parents’ wedding anniversary coincidentally, as he would remind me when I was frustrated with the lack of protections afforded queer people like me, and he would state some statistic like, “just remember Oscar Wilde was found guilty of gross indecency in 1895, not that long ago, and look how far the world has come” he would add. As sweet as his history lessons were the demands of today call for vast sweeping changes effective immediately. It is not enough to recant one’s prejudices or apologize how we got here, instead, it is time to kick into the cracks and bring down the shoddy notions of the past. Racial or economic or gender or sexuality or religious or any differences can no longer dictate who gets what in this one world.
“In the five years since the shooting, which transformed a fairly anonymous Connecticut town into a buzzword in the caustic national debate on gun violence, armed men have killed people at a nightclub, an outdoor music festival, a social services center, movie theaters, a church in South Carolina and a church in Texas.
The displays of grief follow a familiar routine: Candlelight vigils and makeshift memorials. National offerings of thoughts and prayers. Pleas to tighten gun laws, immediately trailed by calls to avoid politicizing a tragedy” (Rojas and Kristin Hussey).