Domestic Terrorism

Okay.

Let’s take a moment and reflect on what happened this week.

As we all know, domestic terrorists attacked the US Capitol building.

As CNN, Bill Wier, and Cory Booker pointed out, the last time this happened was in 1812 when the British attacked the Capitol building. This time it was attacked by white Americans.

US CITIZENS ATTACKED THEIR OWN CAPITOL BUILDING.

But we know this. We saw this coming. If you didn’t, you were just simply not paying attention. Over and over again Presidential Candidate, President Elect, President, and now Former President Donald Trump has incited violence against people and groups.

Vox published a time line reporting all of the times, from 2015 until the Capitol attack, that Trump has incited violence against different groups of people. The article is an interesting read and I won’t go through every incident (spoiler alert: its a lot), but I thought I would hit the highlights.

People have been using him to justify their violent actions for YEARS.

Vox reports:

August 19, 2015: Two Boston brothers invoked Trump when they were arrested for urinating on a homeless man and beating him with a metal pipe. While in custody, one of the brothers told the police, “Trump was right. All of these illegals need to be deported.” The 58-year-old Mexican American they assaulted was a permanent US resident.

Of course this famous line:

January 23, 2016: At a campaign rally in Iowa, Trump, in describing the loyalty of his supporters, notoriously said, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

This frightening sentiment:

Trump would reiterate his support for waterboarding, a banned interrogation method. “They said to me, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?’ I said I think it’s great, but we don’t go far enough. It’s true. We don’t go far enough. We don’t go far enough.” At a February 6 Republican debate in New Hampshire, Trump said he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” if he were elected president.

His Muslim ban:

January 27, 2017: On the day the Trump administration instituted a ban against travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, a Muslim Delta employee wearing a hijab was physically and verbally attacked at JFK International Airport in New York. The perpetrator told the victim “[Expletive] Islam. [Expletive] ISIS. Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you,” according to ABC. On the campaign trail, Trump said he was open to the idea of closing mosques and creating a database of all Muslims in the US, consistently saying that Muslims were a “problem” and a “sickness.”

August 5, 2019: A 39-year-old Montana man was charged with felony assault for choking, slamming, and fracturing the skull of a 13-year-old boy who didn’t take his hat off for the national anthem. The man’s attorney told the local newspaper that Trump’s “rhetoric” led to the violent act. “His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished,” the lawyer said, referencing Trump’s harsh words against athletes like Colin Kaepernick who protested for social justice.

That is a TINY SAMPLE of times he has incited violence in the last six years.

(Oh! Happy New Year! Surprise! All of the problems of the previous year do not magically disappear when the year begins anew. Time is a construct ppl).

The Capitol Police say that they had no idea that this was going to happen.

HOW?

This has been planning for MONTHS. Did you see how many people showed up? This was a coordinated effort that had been planned for months in advance. People came in from Hawaii, Florida, all over the freaking country.

There are threats that this is going to happen again before the inauguration. I would not be surprised.

In an article by The Nation, they provide a different look at the riots this week: the relationship between the Thin Blue Line people and the police.

A quote from that article that I believe should be published worldwide is this:

“This is not America,” a woman said to a small group, her voice shaking. She was crying, hysterical. “They’re shooting at us. They’re supposed to shoot BLM, but they’re shooting the patriots.”

I think she said the quiet part out loud. Oops!

I just don’t even know how to respond to that.

Believing in basic human rights makes you the enemy apparently.

Before I jump into the BLM versus the domestic terrorists argument, lets continue to look at the reactions of these Trump Supporters to the police.

From The Nation’s article:

Never mind the Blue Lives Matter paraphernalia, anti-police sentiment was commonplace. “The state troopers where I live are assholes,” I’d heard someone complain earlier. “They’re totally fucking our state.”

“Pigs!” “Is this what we get for backing the Blue?!” “You just lost the only people in this country who stand behind you!” “You serve Satan!”

So it was never really about the police was it? It was just about your absolute hate of black people.

Got it.

Continuing down this disgusting rabbit hole, lets examine the argument saying the everyone involved in the BLM protests over the summer, myself included, should be arrested since the domestic terrorists who desecrated and TRESPASSED in the United States CAPITOL BUILDING are being arrested.

That is an awful argument. And let me tell you why.

Fighting to end the discrimination of Black people is literally not the same as a coup attempt to place a dictator in charge of our country. Yes there were protests this summer, and yes there was some carnage, but in all of the PEACEFUL protests, no one violated a government building.

AND YET, because we were marching for Black Lives, people were shot, and hurt, and abused by police officers.

When the Trump supporters broke windows and trespassed into the capitol building, cops took SELFIES with them:

They opened gates and let them in:

When they brought zip ties to take prisoners, participated in mail theft, trespassed in a federal building, desecrated a national office, stole, AND MORE, the police didn’t do ANYTHING like what they did this summer.

US Capitol rioters spotted with ZIP TIES in shock pics suggesting 'plan to  take hostages'
thesun.co.uk

Now I am TIRED of giving these people a platform like this, where we talk about them constantly for weeks on end and give them the publicity that they crave.

But we also HAVE to talk about this.

We have to realize why it is wrong and how it is deeply rooted in racism.

As I mentioned at the beginning, Donald Trump has been inciting violence for a very long time. This was only the natural progression.

He called them very special people after all.

It will happen again. This proves it.

Pay attention and call your representatives to kick him out of office so he does not get to enjoy any of the benefits of Presidency.

I am TIRED of the republicans going back and forth over him.

Supporting him one day and denying that support the next. I could do a whole other post about just that.

One beast at a time…

Climate Countdown Clock?

If you haven’t seen in the news, two artists, Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd reprogrammed New York’s Metronome clock in Manhattan. It now displays the amount of time we have left to act on climate change before it is too late.

Jeenah Moon for the New York Times

Last week, Saturday, September 20th, a message flashed across the screen that read “The Earth has a deadline”. We have roughly seven years to act, according to the countdown clock, which is based on numbers by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. The goal of the project was to engage people who might not always think about climate change and the implications a warming planet has on our future. 

Because today is the last day of the installation in Union Square, I thought it was a good idea to take a closer look at this shocking piece of art.

While most people who recognize the irreversible effects of climate change were in support of the climate countdown clock, I have seen a few arguments against it. The critics say that it induces crippling eco-anxiety.

Eco-anxiety is a relatively new term that came about as more and more people began reporting anxiety, stress, or depression about the future of the climate. The American Psychological Association defines it as “a chronic fear of environmental doom.” Eco-anxiety is not a clinical disorder, but it can be a healthy response to the problem that is the climate crisis, Ciara Nugent discovered.

The arguments against the climate countdown clock say that we should avoid spreading eco-anxiety as it solely impacts low-income communities.

I think it is incredibly important to remember that the effects of the climate crisis disproportionately affect low income and marginalized communities. However, as Ciara Nugent found, I think eco-anxiety is a necessity. The countdown clock is placed in a very affluent area to target wealthier individuals who do not face the ill effects of climate change daily. It aims to bring awareness to the fact that this is a problem that equalizes us. We need to act together.

The critique of the project brings up another point that reminds us that 71% of all emissions are from 100 corporations. I recognize that individual action will never be enough; however, I disagree when the argument says that targeting individuals only induces eco-anxiety. While personal action may not have the desired impact on the climate, public lobbying to lawmakers is impactful. Once lawmakers are aware of the concerns of their constituents, they are more likely to vote in favor of or against certain issues. And if they don’t, we vote them out.

(Template for a sample letter to your lawmakers)

I don’t have all the answers. But I do know that the more people get involved in climate change and politics, the better. If protecting the planet doesn’t motivate you, then maybe protecting yourself will. The longer we wait and refuse to act, the more natural disasters will occur and the more diseases will spread. Be worried, be scared, but let that encourage you to act. Inaction’s only result is the end of the world as we know it.

References/Further Reading:

https://time.com/5735388/climate-change-eco-anxiety/

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/arts/design/climate-clock-metronome-nyc.html

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/03/climate-mental-health

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/b2e7ee32-ad28-4ec4-89aa-a8b8c98f95a5/

(Have a thought? Leave a comment! I would love to start a dialogue about your thoughts on the climate change countdown.)