On January 20, right on schedule and without interruption, Chief Justice John Roberts swore Joe Biden as 46th president of the United States. Still, not everything is okay. The fact that 25,000 members of the National Guard had been called to Washington to guard the city streets and provide security for the inauguration was testament to the distrust and anger that stirred the nation.
On January 6, peaceful protests in Washington, D.C. against Joe Biden's certification as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, turned into a violent riot, culminating in the storming of the US Capitol. The short-lived uprising tainted Donald Trump's presidency, sparked partisan anger that raged through the country for years, and deepened doubts at home and abroad about the stability of democracy in America. Judicious judgment – of where we stand, how we got here, and of the principles that should guide the renewal of the great American experiment in ordered freedom – is a top priority.
The storming of the Capitol deserves harsh disapproval. Those who have committed crimes must be prosecuted. Yes, it is true, as Trump's defenders claim, that at the pre-riot meeting, the president said, "I know everyone here will soon be marching to the Capitol to make your voices heard peacefully and patriotically." But it is also true that in much of the speech he led the crowd to run wild with reckless disdain for the impact of his fierce, riotous rhetoric. A week later, with no Democrats against or abstaining, and with the support of 10 Republicans, the House voted to impeach him.
Even if it is unequivocally condemned, January's appalling lawlessness must be observed accurately – neither sweeping the multi-layered damage under the rug, nor outrageous slander and blame. The same is true of the violent riots of last spring and summer in cities from coast to coast. They also started peaceful protests – over the murder of George Floyd – and triggered attacks on government buildings and widespread looting and burning of business districts with the following result more than a billion dollars in damage. It was the most expensive civil unrest in American history.
In the first week of January, many left and right promptly approached the opportunity.
In immediate response to the violence, President elected Joe Biden statedLet me be very clear: the chaos in the Capitol does not reflect real America. Don't represent who we are. Other Democrats joined him. "This is not the America I know and love," declared U.S. Representative Brenda Lawrence from Michigan. Former President Jimmy Carter agreement: "This is a national tragedy and is not who we are as a nation."
Republicans generally agreed. "This is not who we are," tweeted Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said Much the same. "We are the United States of America. We disagree on a lot of things, and we have a lot of heated discussions … but we talk about it and we honor each other – even if we don't agree," exclaimed Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma. “And while we disagree on things – and sometimes strongly disagree – we don't encourage what happened today. Ever. ”Former President George W. Bush said, "This is how the election results are contested in a banana republic – not our democratic republic."
In a bipartisan and bicameral statement, Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, Mark Warner, Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan and Dick Durbin join Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, as well as Collins' Maine colleague, Independent Angus King, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (a Democrat from New Jersey) and Rep. Tom Reed (a Republican from New York), in to confirming, "The behavior we've seen in the US Capitol is completely un-American."
Faced directly with the collapse of law and order and the violation of our nation's non-negotiable commitment to the peaceful transfer of power, these public officials and former presidents of both major parties called Americans to our foundational principles and best traditions. In keeping with the call from the left and the right for what's best in America, law enforcement officials finally restored order in the Capitol on January 6. Congress, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, went ahead with its constitutionally assigned responsibility to count electoral votes and certify Joe Biden's victory. The rule of law and constitutional government prevailed over the rule of the mob.
In "Denial is America's heartbeat, & # 39; Appearing in The Atlantic five days after the Capitol Hill riots, Ibram X. Kendi argues that the civil and unifying statements of members of Congress and former presidents reflect the determination, as old as the country, to & # 39; 39; to deny the history of the Americans & # 39 ;. tyranny. ”For Kendi, director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research and bestselling author of" How to Be an Antiracist, "the attack on the Capitol was not a starting point for American society and government, but a representative example of the country's history of & # 39; massacre. " The two-pronged condemnations of the riots represent, according to Kendi, a two-pronged attempt to hide the nation's systemic injustice.
There is no doubt about the temptation to deny political reality in order to gain power and advance partisan agendas. Indeed, Kendi & # 39; s criticism succumbs to it.
First, by insisting on a purely literal reading of the swift condemnations of the Capitol riot, Kendi denies the well-understood meaning of the utterances he claims to debunk. Those who said after the riots, "This is not who we are," he argues, "in total denial that the rioters are part of America. & # 39; The professor writes as if members of Congress and former presidents were ignorant of, or attempted to suppress, the United States' record of incitement and violence against the government. Kendi & # 39; s flamboyant recitation in his article on lows in American history does not prove his position, as the Democrats and Republicans he accuses of denial did not claim that "anti-democratic politics is not part of American politics" . Rather, they insisted – and most who read their words or heard their insistence – that anti-democratic politics violate America's defining commitment to freedom under the law.
Second, Kendi denies Americans' willingness to face their moral shortcomings as individuals and as a nation. “Another part of America is denying everything that is part of America,” he writes. The most blatant form of denial, he argues, "is the regular structural denial that racial inequality is caused by racist policies." Unlike Kendi, racism in America – with a focus on its supposedly systemic nature and the supposed implicit bias it perpetuates – is arguably the favorite and most talked about topic in the country's universities, media outlets, and businesses. boardrooms and staff offices, and federal bureaucracies. One might reasonably wonder whether any country anywhere today – or for that matter that has ever existed on the planet – has been more energetically engaged in self-examination and self-criticism of, and self-punishment for, its sins, real and imagined. , then the United States of America.
Third, Kendi denies the meaning of America's founding principles. For decades, historians – and teachers are featured in the curriculum – have been documenting and cataloging the nation's violations, betrayal, and defilement of those principles, starting with the constitution's protection of slavery. Kendi continues. "Sexism, racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism," he argues, should be viewed "as systemic and ubiquitous." Accordingly, we must recognize that the attack on the US Capitol is "exactly who we are ” (italics in the original). By insisting that those violations, betrayals, and defilements of American principles are defining features of American institutions and the American spirit, Kendi obscures the primacy of the nation's tenets in correcting American injustice. A reasonable comparative and historical study, however, would show that America is different from other peoples and nations not because of racism and other forms of intolerance – which abound all over the world – but rather because of the remarkable progress our constitutional regime has made in establishing itself. fulfill for a great and diverse nation the pledge of the Declaration of Independence to ensure the rights inherent in all persons.
It's not wrong for Kendi to be outraged by racism or to shed light on injustice in America, but his extravagant allegations undermine the common ground on which Americans of diverse beliefs can come together in defense of individual freedom and human equality.
The judicious consideration that is crucial for national renewal at this difficult moment must counteract the interests and forces that feed polarization. We can do this by restore an understanding of the principles of freedom on which America was founded, and of the nation's historic achievements – and failures and setbacks – in building a tolerant, prosperous, and pluralistic society.
. (tagsToTranslate) racism (t) freedom (t) Capitol riots (t) Ibram X. Kendi