This Is Who We Are

The one thing you have to give to the GOP, they are well organized, and their messages no matter how toxic are specific and consistent. They have spent the past fifty years building towards this pivotal point in time. Half the states are controlled by maniac legislatures and governors intent on rolling their states back to the days of Jim Crow and women’s subjection, never mind more than half their constituents disagree with their policies. Those at the top both elected and not, are ramping it up every single day on every single media outlet. Make no mistake, they are winning the war of words with soundbites meant to inflame, intended to sow fear and fury, they are winning.

Before we proceed, let’s take a close look at what we are really talking about. For those who love this nation, who believe the words penned by Thomas Jefferson in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” July 4, 1776

We should be clear, Jefferson and most of the other signers of the Declaration were slaveholders. They weren’t talking about ‘all’ men. They were talking about specific men. They certainly weren’t talking about women either. Unlike others, I am not going to cancel Jefferson and others for their views and their sins, they were men of their time. Were they wrong? They were absolutely wrong and their views on slavery, among many other things were absolutely wrong. Would their views have been different had they lived in a different time? I don’t think we know, however, given the benefit of much of their writing I like to think that yes, their views would have been much different had they had the benefit of time.

For those who love Lincoln and view him through the prism of the Civil War and the Emancipation of Slaves, I think there is a much deeper look that needs to be taken. Keeping this in mind when thinking of the first sentence of the Gettysburg Address:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” November 19, 1863

In Lincoln’s address he was referring to the Declaration of Independence, he also wasn’t considering ‘all’ men, nor was he thinking about women when he proposed equality. From 1863 to 1974 it required 5 Constitutional Amendments, several legislative changes, and several interventions by SCOTUS before all men and women were considered equal under the law; before we could all vote, have bank accounts, have credit and mortgages, access to education, marry who we choose, body autonomy, and a host of other things White Men have always taken for granted. White Men never feared lynching, never feared the loss of their freedom, the loss of their income, the loss of their homes, the loss of their choices or their families. White Men never questioned their right to the voting booth, not one time in the history of this nation have White Men ever questioned their right to exist in this nation or their inalienable Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

The rest of us sure in the hell have though.

There is a straight line in the rise of hate crimes, more specifically race-based domestic terrorism to White Nationalism and the most recent administration of Trump and its fallout of Trumpism. What was once the fringe is now the accepted baseline for the Republican Party.

  • Conspiracy Theory 1: Jewish cabals attempting to take over the world starting with the USA.
  • Conspiracy Theory 2: Top Democrats are pedophiles involved in child sex trafficking rings.
  • Conspiracy Theory 3 (and my personal favorite): The election was stolen from Donald Trump in 2020 and he is the true POTUS.

These are only some of the truly ludicrous Conspiracies dangled by the dangerous and outrageous talking heads and elected officials across the US. These lead to the most dangerous, The Replacement Theory and its proponents on Fox News and the floor of Congress and state legislatures. This ugly ‘Theory’ isn’t new, isn’t something that comes to us fresh out of the minds of those who sit in back rooms at Fox, Heritage Foundation, The Blaze, and Breitbart whipping up the next big thing. This is not the something cooked up in a vacuum by terrified old White Men who see their power trickling away. There is a direct line from Theodore Gilmore Bilbo, two-time Governor of Mississippi (1916-1920 & 1928-1932), US Senator (1935-1947), member of the KKK, and author of Take Your Choice: Separation or Mongeralization, an ode to pro-segregation.

This only begins to scratch the surface. This nation has seen a steady rise in domestic terrorism. It stretches across the entire spectrum and is steadily pushing us back to before Civil Rights, before Women’s Rights, before all of these:

  • Smith v. Allwright (1944), upheld the recently enacted Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965
  • Brown v. Board – 1954 and Brown v. Board II – 1956
  • Griswold v. State of Connecticut (1965), based on right to privacy and allowing married couples access to birth control.
  • South Carolina v. Katzenbach (1966), upheld the recently enacted VRA of 1965
  • Harper v. The Virginia Board of Elections (1966), based on 24th Amendment adopted in 1964 prohibiting poll taxes.
  • Loving v. State of Virginia (1967), based on both Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment, SCOTUS overturned anti-miscegenation
  • Eisenstadt v. Baidt (1972), based on the right to privacy and allowing unmarried women access to birth control.
  • Roe v. Wade (1973), based on the precedent established by previous cases, the right to privacy allowed women access to legal and safe abortion.
  • Shelby County v. Holder (2013), the Alabama county argued that the formula in Section 4 of the VRA was outdated and Unconstitutional. By a vote of 5-4, SCOTUS agreed thereby effectively gutting the most powerful tool of the VRA. At the time Chief Justice Roberts expressed that he expected Congress to update the VRA, to date they have failed to do so. Since that time states have imposed increasingly restrictive voting laws.
  • Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), under the same precedent established by Loving v. Virginia, Gay Marriage was validated as fundamental liberty according to the Constitution.

Here we are, the dead continue to fall in our streets, in our churches, supermarkets, our laundry, our beauty and barbershops. They are shot down when jogging or walking their dogs, while celebrating birthdays or just doing nothing but living life. The dead are piling up, their lives are cut short, their names added to the rolls of the murdered, from the children to the great-grandparent; and we seem numb to it all.

FBI Hate Crime Stats 2016-2020

Don’t pretend anymore that this is not who we are, by damn this is exactly who we are. We care more about our access to weapons of destruction and our pocketbooks than we do about the life of our neighbors. We care more about paying $10 less in taxes than we do about whether a young mother can feed her child. We care not one whit about truth, moral integrity, and human life.

This is by damn who we are. We are a nation of moral degenerates. We are a nation seeped in Fear, White Nationalism, Violence, Bigotry and Lies. We are a nation that willingly votes the very worst of us into office time and again simply because they might get an extra $1 in their paycheck. We willing soak up lies so we can feel good about voting for liars one more time.

This is who we are, this is us.

Comments

  1. It is extremely worrisome that this is the situation in the US as you see it, Alejandro. It reminds me of a strong and proud Ancient Rome that descends into degenerate chaos and I really hope it turns around fast. As usual, Australia follows along the US trend like a small sibling or sheep and with our election happening today, we have a slim chance to stop this, but will we? It is in the hands of the public and unfortunately universal and compulsory suffrage here means that idiots or those who are prey to conspiracy theories and extremist fear driven rhetoric get to cast a vote. Cross your fingers for Australia and I will cross them for the future of the US.

    • I hope your elections went well. I have not kept up with Australia. My fear for this nation has had me so terribly focused I have failed to look much further, other than the terrible war in Ukraine.

  2. Reblogged this on Chief Writing Wolf and commented:
    This is a powerful essay from fellow blogger Valentine Logar.

  3. Sad but true, this is us. Conspiracy theories are not on the fringe any more, they are mainstream. Well written, Val! Hope you are doing well.

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