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Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Painting by the great black artist, Faith Ringgold. Apologies for a slight crop.

The events of January 6 did not come out of thin air. I'm not going to trace white nationalism ob ovum but merely back three presidencies; it has a very long history. It was dormant for a while; there were years after the passing of the Civil Rights Acts where one could not comfortably make a racist remark without being publicly ostracized. That is all over now and it began with W. Bush inviting white nationalists out of the closet.

The right must have seen Bush coming. A few years before 9/11, police began to openly harass and abuse demonstrators with impunity. At the Democratic Convention before the second Clinton term, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, police shot news photographers and legal observers in the head with rubber bullets, cornered demonstrators and beat them, confiscated the equipment of alternative news organizations, and brutally suppressed dissent. None of the police officers were disciplined and there was very little public outcry across the country. In San Diego, sheriff's deputies handcuffed demonstrators and, with cotton swabs, painted their eyelids with pepper spray. Again, there was little public outcry.

After 9/11, Bush/GOP created Homeland Security, a completely unnecessary organization and a pretext to deny people their First Amendment Rights. Bush also gave billions of dollars worth of military equipment, including armed personnel carriers and military small arms, to police departments around the country. Police recast themselves as storm troopers at the expense of necessary police work. They were given carte blanche to do whatever they wanted without fear of discipline. Congress and the rest of the country gave this their tacit approval, even after the alarming number of unarmed black people being murdered weekly.

When our first black president was elected for a full two terms the country's white nationalists could no longer contain themselves. Further, they were daily encouraged in their hatred by right wing shock jocks and the FOX News network. Armed militias began to grow larger than usual throughout the country. When Donald Trump was elected the racist hoards hit the ground running. Trump, and the GOP, blatantly encouraged their hatred and conspiracy theories, and voila, the predictable happened.

I am astonished by GOP in Congress and the Senate who are now calling for "healing" and "unity". Did the sight of enraged bigots overrunning the police scare them? It should. It's just many years too late. The corrosive, racist, paranoid culture of the right is now a fait accompli.

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