(Todd A. Smith)
No true American can defend former President Donald Trump and his claims of stolen elections and widespread voter fraud.
No true American can call themselves patriotic if they defend Trump’s attempt to overthrow American democracy and transform this country into Russia under dictator Vladimir Putin.
And no one with a brain can honestly compare what happened on Jan. 6, 2021, to the destruction and violence that occurred at some Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Nevertheless, many people have tried to make the comparison between the Trump insurrectionists who attempted a coup on our government to Black Lives Matter protestors whose anger led some to commit violence.
Both parties are wrong for resorting to violence.
But to compare the two epitomizes the term false equivalence and comparing apples to watermelons (not oranges).
Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio embarrassed himself this week by calling the Jan 6. insurrection a “dust up.”
He complained about the fact that a congressional committee did not produce a hearing, or primetime television event, on the destruction of property that occurred at some Black Lives Matter protests.
On Jan. 6, 2021, a former Twitter follower of mine told me I was dead to him because I condemned the insurrectionists at the U.S. Capitol and not Black Lives Matter protestors who had resorted to violence.
My response to him saying I was dead to him was too bad I never knew he was alive in the first place and to unfollow me.
But my response should have been as follows.
While the Black Lives Matter protestors who got violent were definitely in the wrong, their anger was more righteous than the anger of those who believed Trump’s big lie.
Since 1619, Black people in this land have constantly faced oppression, police brutality, discrimination and other forms of bigotry just because of the color of our skin.
Mostly, Black people protested this mistreatment in nonviolent ways, even when faced with deadly violence.
While Black people have seen people of other colors destroy property when their favorite teams or school wins or loses a championship, Black people often turned the other cheek in the face of violence.
But after a certain number of times, you run out of cheeks to turn.
Therefore, the Black Lives Matter protestors who got violent are like the bullied child in school.
After so many times getting violated and abused, that bullied child is going to lash out and retaliate at some point, no matter how righteous or spiritual they usually appear.
Therefore, when the victim becomes the aggressor, do not look surprised.
Do not ask the person that experienced that bullying not to react violently.
Ask the people that initiated the violence to stop the initial violence so no one will have to react violently to such abuse.
For too long, America has told Black people how to react to prejudice without doing enough to root out the prejudice.
If we had addressed the problems of racism, police brutality and prejudice decades ago, would there be a need to destroy property out of frustration?
After all, the prince of nonviolence Martin Luther King, Jr. once eloquently stated that the riot is just the language of the unheard.
While a riot is wrong, what do you expect when an oppressed people continue to get oppressed?
In contrast, what did Trump’s followers have to complain about?
It is no one’s fault but their own that they believed the ridiculous lies of a wannabe dictator and tyrant.
It is their fault that many of them sit in jail while their “lord and savior,” and former commander-in-chief, lives the life of luxury at The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla.
The insurrectionists stormed the capitol, killed a police officer, and threatened to hang former Vice President Mike Pence because their candidate lost an election.
America has had 46 presidents since 1776.
Therefore, America has had at least 46 people lose a general presidential election.
And sometimes, as Trump and former President Jimmy Carter can attest, the incumbent does not always win.
But every other president, except for Trump, handled defeat gracefully and did not resist the peaceful transfer of power because they knew the importance of maintaining this experiment known as democracy.
They realized that this republic was bigger than them and their ego.
Therefore, they put their hurt aside to keep the greatest country in the world great.
Not the former guy.
He cared more about his own bruised ego than he did the country he swore to protect against enemies, foreign and domestic.
In fact, he became America’s biggest enemy.
Ultimately, America was sleeping with its own biggest enemy.
And that enemy resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.
America’s democracy barely survived because of brave patriots who would not go along with Trump’s treasonous ways.
But who is to say that the next wannabe autocrat fails in destroying America’s beloved freedoms?
So, when people compare the insurrection to the destruction of physical property during Black Loves Matter protests, I respond that people were not just upset about the destruction of the U.S. Capitol as physical property.
They were, and are still, upset that a sitting president would be so evil that he would willfully attempt to destroy America’s way-of-life that is entrenched in the United States Constitution.
Property can be restored with a little work.
Democracy, once lost, will take a lot more than just paint and new windows to restore.
It will take another American Revolution.
It will take another Civil War.
And these hearings into Trump’s criminality are here so that the nation never turns a deaf ear to how close we were from losing our country, just so Trump could be happy.