2021: the racing animus has touched everything
Reflections on the year that was
(Left) A video of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman leading pro-Trump rioters away from senators during the Jan.6 insurgency attempt. (to the right) Goodman escorted Vice President Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff Second Gentleman during the Biden-Harris inauguration.
2021 was meant to be a rebound from the devastating and astonishing losses of the previous year. Instead, 2021 looked more like the weaker sister of 2020.
It was only days before the start of this new year when black people were surprised to see a black officer empowered to carry out the will of the state fleeing a group of white men storming the nation’s capital. The blacks who watched this attempted insurrection without faith or law said to themselves: If it had been beating cops and threatening politicians we would have been shot.
This event, for which the offenders were slightly punished given the crimes close to sedition, set the tone of the year. The scaffolding they brought with the noose was all the symbolism needed to let people know that despite the scream of getting an election stolen, it was all about race.
The election fraud allegation was not what some were taking at face value. MAGA’s right-wing crowd saw the fact that “others”, that is, people other than whites – have voted in increasing numbers as a clear and present danger to the status quo of whites. All the uproar over a “fraudulent election” provided excellent cover for a new attack on voting rights.
A New York Times writer in a story on the mask debate seemed to capture the essence of the crisis and angst of 2021 by suggesting that at the root of all the social dismay lay these questions: who is an American ? Which country is it? Who is in charge, and which version of the country will ultimately win?
In other words, the White Settler experience has yet to come to terms with the idea that the United States is not exclusively theirs.
The presidency was taken over and Joe Biden took office, telling blacks he was their best hope while offering few promises. Kamala Harris, the first black and female vice president, was also elected.
A young black poet laureate put the nation on the right track when she said: “We didn’t feel ready to be heirs to such a terrifying hour, but within it we found the power to write a new chapter. “
COVID-19 variants have booked 2021, with Delta kicking off the deadly course before passing an infected witness to omicron. Debates over masks, vaccinations and the virus itself have been postponed from 2020.
The pandemic has even been racialized, as reports began to circulate of hundreds of Asians being attacked across the country. Americans, in all their idiocy, somehow found a way to blame their fellow Asians for a pandemic in which they had no part.
Even education became controversial, as there was a setback against a true teaching of the nation’s history that would include the story of the contribution of blacks to this society and the struggle to overcome cruel and inhuman treatment. This manifested itself in fierce opposition to the “critical race theory” taught in schools and school board meetings filled with angry white parents.
What is it that scares them so much? It is likely that some were afraid to face the truth about how the country’s wealth was built on black people. Others fear that talking about race will diminish their view of themselves and of that nation’s history.
Yet others were nervous that their children would learn the truth that black people struggle more often in this society not because of their own incompetence, but because of white supremacy and the efforts of capitalism for them. restrain and limit the progress of blacks.
“Why are we all of a sudden teaching our five-year-olds to be divided by color? A white woman asked in the same NY Times article. “They don’t care what color your skin is until you say five-year-old grandpa was mean 200 years ago,” the woman said in the story.
His statement is representative of many whites who believe that everything should be forgotten and that blacks should overcome injustice while supporting any measure that limits the progress of blacks. It is she, and not her child, who does not want to face the truth and thus seek a more just and equitable society. And as the saying goes, a nation that does not learn from its history is doomed to repeat it.
(left) George Floyd’s family and legal counsel celebrate Derek Chauvin’s verdict at a press conference. Photo by Chris Juhn / (Right) Daunte Wright’s mother Katie Wright (center) outside the courthouse following Kim Potter’s guilty verdict. Photo by Henry Pan
All eyes still on Minneapolis
Again, local news was national news. Although the people of Minneapolis voted against a move to replace the police department with a public safety department, the city has remained at ground zero on police reform.
The brutal murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin made Minneapolis the center of attention in 2020, and it continued in 2021 with Chauvin’s trial and his ultimate murder conviction.
In the emotional throes of the Chauvin trial, a suburban Minneapolis police officer in Brooklyn Center killed 20-year-old Daunte Wright, which reignited unrest and police reform efforts.
Wright’s killer Kimberly Potter was convicted of manslaughter before Christmas, bringing in a total of two white cops who were held responsible for the murders of two blacks. It was a type of progress all its own and of national importance.
“I think everything that Keith Ellison has established there – I want to call it the Minneapolis method of police pursuits – is substantial and will be replicated across the country,” predicted Mark Claxton, retired detective from the NYPD, on MSNBC shortly after the Potter verdict.
In the midst of it all, last fall marked 20 years since September 11. The mainstream press remembered how the nation came together in a display of unity and challenge. This was probably not how many Muslim citizens remembered who were harassed and attacked months later.
The subsequent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan in the Middle East claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans. The Astronomical War Budget sent money overseas that could have been used to cover domestic deficits.
This year, the United States finally withdrew from Afghanistan, which any invader from that country had to do. The withdrawal was not pretty and left the country in much of the same place it started, if not worse.
As the right-wing MAGA crowds tried to revive their right to declare their country, social unrest and solidarity sparked by greed on behalf of some of America’s best-known brands helped bring together workers of all races. and of all sexes as they closed their arms. in class solidarity.
Although they celebrated workers as essential in 2020, in 2021 workers were once again subjected to long hours, inadequate pay, poor benefits and fewer days off. Amazon, Kellogg, Dorito ‘Lay’s Apple, Starbucks, and John Deere are just a few examples of top brands that have been named or minted.
What was most important in the unrest, besides the demand for better working conditions, increased wages and benefits, was the call for an end to two-tier pay systems, requiring all colleagues, even part-time workers receive equal pay and share. the same working conditions.
It has been a long and stressful year as, once again, America’s color line issue has sparked resentment and resentment across the country. The persistent refusal of this country to grant to its black population the right to live fully as citizens in their native land and the absolutely unconditional and inalienable right to life, liberty and justice remains an obstacle to peace. spirit of every American.
Yes, it has been a long year, but we have endured, and with the spirit of our ancestors, we look to the future, never satisfied with enduring but enduring until we overcome.