Sedition is conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the lawful authority of a state. In 1798, President John Adams signed into law the Sedition Action of 1798, which set out punishments for up to 2 years imprisonment for “opposing or resisting any law of the United States…” The attempt to overthrow the government is called a “coup d’état.” It is known as an overthrow, takeover, or the removal of an existing form of power, usually through violent means. Complicity is a “state of being” involved with others in an illegal activity or wrongdoing. This is not exactly the same as complacency, however they are definitely associated with one another. Complacency describes someone that is generally satisfied with existing conditions and too comfortable to complain, make a fuss, or put forth the energy to change anything.
We have arrived at an inflection point within the critical discourse surrounding the historic and unprecedented events that happened on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on Wednesday of last week. The question that is being asked is “How did this happen?” “How could it have happened?” How did a gang of anti-Semitic, white supremacists domestic terrorists overtake law enforcement officers assigned with the duty to protect the leadership of our constitutional government while they were in the process of certifying the electoral college votes of the presidential election of 2020? The US Congressional Leadership were in the process of their duty to formally, legally and constitutionally acknowledge and certify the duly elected President and Vice President of the United States of America. A President and Vice President that were unquestionably elected to office in a free and fair democratic election. The questions of how did this happen, or how could this have happened are absolutely NOT the RIGHT questions! This is AMERICA and WE KNOW how this happened and why it happened.
It is shameful that in the wake of this “American carnage” so many people, especially members of the Republican Party leadership on Capitol Hill are feigning ignorance and faux outrage. It is equally unbelievable that so many Americans, particularly white Americans, are now shocked and appalled by the outrageous assault on our nation’s so-called bastion of democracy! The fires of this insurrection have been being stoked for decades and centuries. This country’s historic legacy of “promises made and not kept”, “empty words with little action”, “broken treaties” and “outright lies” to Indigenous People and Black and brown Americans has remained consistent, particularly when we look to the platitudes of freedom, equality, democracy and, justice for all that America proclaims to the world. America’s system of justice is inherently unequal and unjust, and our country’s moniker engraved upon the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor that says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” is an outright falsehood.
Race and racism have always been fundamental factors in America’s democracy such as it is. The founding fathers were carving out a nation for themselves to the exclusion of those who did not look like them. They intended for the power and control of this nation to be theirs and theirs alone. They did not intend for it to be shared with the multi-ethnic, pluralistic, mutli-lingual, multi-cultural citizenry that it was destined to become. The founders of this nation were men that held human beings in bondage and built their wealth through the industry of Chattel Slavery. They instituted a form of genocide on the Indigenous People of this land; they stole and pillaged, lied, cheated, and committed heinous acts of violence in the process of building this nation. That is the History of America. It is an historic legacy that has never been fully faced by those who call themselves Americans. It is not taught in school to our children and many Americans have deluded themselves into believing a false narrative of the American story. Black Americans were not surprised by the violent attempt to overturn our democracy. Indigenous Peoples were not surprised. People of the Latin diaspora were not surprised; Muslims and most immigrants of color were not surprised.
Until Americans are willing to face the truth, to SEE the truth, America will continue to be on the verge of a “new civil war” that will devolve into even more consequential events of dysfunction, violence and mayhem. Shame on each and every person now advocating for just “moving on” without any accountability or consequences. “It will only cause more division”, you say? For all of those who incited and/or were complicit in your complacency, denial or avoidance of the Truth of white domestic terrorism and the renewed white supremacist ideology that embraced and supported the uprising and coup to overthrow our democracy, shame on you. No matter who you are! Shame on YOU!