First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. ~ Martin Niemöller
Like many of you, I was stunned by the events that took place at our nation's capitol on January 6, 2021. Though stunned, I must admit I was not surprised. The events that took place on January 6th, 2021 did not begin nor end on this day. America as a nation, must reckon with it's history of violence, white supremacy and domestic terroism. As a nation built on the backs of slaves, we have seen clear examples of "White Rage" as a direct response to Reconstruction and Black Progression. (The "Wilmington Insurrection" of 1898, The "Red Summer" of 1919, The "Tulsa Race Massacre" of 1921, The "Rosewood Massacre" of 1923, "Bloody Sunday" 1965, The Donald Trump Campaign and ultimate Presidency in 2016, just to name a few). Some may ask, how does Donald Trump's presidency compare to the acts of domestic terrorism referenced above? I'm glad you asked. Donald Trump's entire campaign & Presidency was rooted in racism. He ran for President NOT to be a civil servant but to be a symbol of white superiority and particularly spoke to those that resented Barack Obama's presidency. Lets be clear, It is NOT Donald Trump's charm, education or policies that got him elected, but it was what he represented; White Superiority, White Power and yes White Privilege. All of which, when threatened breeds White Nationalism and Domestic Terrorism. The world knew who Donald Trump was and what he represented from the moment he announced his presidency and many chose to look the other way because fear of losing the "status quo" was more important than maintaining decency and order.
As a mental health therapist, I have the privilege of working with clients across many walks of life. And yes for the past 4 years, I have treated and continue to treat several supporters of Donald Trump. Two of my clients revealed in session, plans to take up arms and overthrow the government if Donald Trump lost the election, because they must "save" the country from the "Radical Left". In fact, many supporters believed the events of Jan 6th 2021 was their civic duty! This irrational belief came directly from the President's mouth and into the hearts and minds of many. So let's break this down, what exactly is the "radical left"? Well to my understanding the "radical left "believes that black lives matter, they want common sense gun control, they believe in science, love is love, providing women with the right to choose, police reform, and economic equality amongst all races. Doesn't sound that radical to me, but we can agree to disagree. I open each intake session and provide to all clients in writing, the limits of confidentiality and I assert that confidentiality may be broken If I feel the client is in danger of hurting him/herself or others. So once my clients revealed their intentions for January 6, 2021, I reported this to local law enforcement. Considering the lack of police presence at the Capitol and ultimate "breach", perhaps I was not believed. Was I not believed because I lacked proof? Was I not believed because the story sounded too ridiculous? Was I not believed because I am a black therapist warning law enforcement about my white clients? Let's say the jury is still out.
So how do we move forward and heal as a country? A prominent black scholar (Shawn Carter) says, "we can't heal what we won't reveal." I absolutely LOVE having these conversations in therapy, but would love to see them occur more outside of sessions and into our everyday lives. We must be willing to have dialogue to fully understand each other's perspective: Right, Wrong or Indifferent. We cannot continue to look at these events and proclaim, "This is not America." For those that are blinded by the fantasy of America, I challenge each of you to look beyond the fairytale and acknowledge that America has a violent, racist, and oppressive history. We must process our past in order to build a better future. I also challenge you to look internally. Have you contributed to the oppression of others? Can you recognize your privilege exists? Do you believe that one race is superior to another? Lastly, if you voted for Donald Trump, be honest with yourself, why did you really vote for him? I know the "politically correct" response is well he's pro life.... he's a "successful" business man....he believes in the right to bear arms. But throw away the BS that you tell yourselves so that you can sleep at night and in the words of Mitt Romney, "Tell the truth!" Tell the truth, process the past and positively contribute to the building of a better society.
We can't change the world, unless we change ourselves" - Christopher Wallace