I debated writing this op-ed, but I know my voice needs to be heard during this time of violence, chaos and division. I cannot be silent in the face of this nation’s destruction that I dearly love and want to see do better.
I recall my fears when I saw that Donald J. Trump was elected president in 2016. As an individual that studied political science and public policy, this man winning the election would mean irreversible consequences that would reshape our democracy. I just wasn’t aware of how much this man and his followers would damage our domestic and foreign policy. For the next four years, those very fears became a reality and grew with each passing year.
This man did not cause racism. He exposes how racism still permeates the country, which is an indisputable fact that every Black and brown American knows. I was infuriated when he referred to white supremacists and racists as “fine people.” I thought he couldn’t sink in lower in the cesspool of hatred, fake piety and racism. But I was wrong.
My heart broke during the protests over the wrongful murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. I cried tears for their families’ agony, and others felt sadness watching their last moments on this earth be filled with pain. I feared for myself and anyone in the Black community when they walked out to protest because I knew this man viewed us as less than the dirt under his shoes.
I was enraged and disgusted when the national guard was mobilized against peaceful and lawful protesters who were rightfully enraged at the continued desecration and destruction of Black bodies by members of the very individuals who are sworn to protect us.
When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were elected, I felt hope for the first time that our country would no longer be ruled by a man who lies, manipulates and cares nothing about all citizens of this country. I know that they cannot fix the wounds caused by this presidency, but hopefully, they could start much-needed healing as a nation.
Yet, when I turned on the television on January 6, I was terrified at the level of violence and lunacy committed by domestic terrorists. I use the term “domestic terrorists” deliberately.
These Trump supporters are domestic terrorists trying to grasp at the straws of the delusions of an ousted president. These individuals drove to Washington to incite violence and cause a mass pandemic. This is the very definition of what terrorism is. And it is high time we call it what it is. These Trump supporters are not Americans. They are delusion sycophants who have chosen to believe the delusions of an unqualified and unhinged president.
Our elections are a sacred process intended to occur peacefully, and these individuals have disrupted it. These Trump supporters symbolized that white privilege is real. If these protestors were Black and brown community members, they would have been met with military power, rubber bullets and never made it into the capitol.
America needs to heal, but it needs to recognize white privilege and racism still exists with a need for civic education.