Wednesday’s insurrection at the Capitol in D.C. has received a lot of ink recently, with people weighing in for and against, and pushing to either continue entertaining Trump’s conspiracy theories about a stolen election, or remove him from office via the 25th Amendment or impeachment and conviction.
Most of us, myself included, looked on in horror at Wednesday’s proceedings, rubber-necking like drivers ogling a 25-car pileup on 35W during rush hour—horrified, but unable to look away. Oh, and feeling tremendously helpless in the face of it all.
We know God wants better for all of us.
But this is a learned helplessness, the result of us being observers rather than engaged citizens. We watch what happens, and because it’s too hard to conduct a civil conversation anymore, we hide in our echo chambers on social media, or only gripe to those who agree with us already. Completely avoiding conflict. And continuing to watch, and comment.
Don’t you wish there was something you could DO about all this?
Well, there is. First, we need to recognize that the temptation to retreat and cower is real, and understandable. But it’s also unacceptable, mostly because “retreat, cower, and comment” is a privilege we have if we’re white. Seeing action as one option among many is a luxury we think we can afford. But we cannot.
Second, we need to recognize that what happened Wednesday in Washington and in state capitols across America is happening because change for the better IS taking place, the result of four years of action through the political process. White supremacy and minority rule are passing away, and Wednesday was the death-rattle of a movement desperately trying to hold onto power our of fear of what will happen when Black, Indigenous and people of color actually have agency in their own lives.
As we’ve seen, politicians by nature are courageous mostly when it’s convenient. They respond to organized pressure from constituents who have built the power and the voice to have the ears of elected leaders, and who realize that justice and opportunity for all benefits every person, regardless of skin color, immigration status, education or income level, sexual orientation or gender identity, geography or employment status.
Isaiah MN is a movement for a multiracial democracy and a caring economy in Minnesota. If you’ve been waiting in the wings for a sign of hope and a vehicle for putting your faith and ethics into action through politics, it’s time to make your entrance and get onstage. Attend ISAIAH’s Virtual Public Launch on Jan. 24 from 2 to 5 p.m. on Zoom to get involved in the largest and most consequential community organizing movement in our state for systemic change.
It’s free of charge. The only price is your commitment to change for the better in Minnesota, so white supremacy and corporate and minority rule don’t continue to determine what’s possible in our lives.