After centuries, after genocide, after chattel slavery. After civil war, after three-fifths, after fugitive slave acts. After reservations, after trails of tears, after residential schools. After railroads, after internment camps, after exclusion acts. After xenophobia, after forced deportation, after segregation. After sunset towns, after MOVE, after Flint.
After Breonna, after Eric, after Tony, after Michael, after Atatiana, after Trayvon, after Kathryn, after Tamir, after Alton, after Philando, after Miriam.
Yesterday was not a surprise – it was the latest manifestation of white supremacy in the United States. After four years under this administration – an administration that has blatantly sought to remove protections and policy that benefit the health and safety of our communities – we cannot afford to feign shock at the audacity of white supremacy. We cannot ignore the fact that yesterday was white supremacy’s response to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities voting in November and Black people in the South organizing and voting to turn Georgia blue the night before last. We cannot look away from the damage that was caused yesterday – not just to the Capitol building, but also to the communities who are shown how expendable we are if we dare to demand equity, question racism, or protest state-funded killings.
For communities that have faced systemic racism in all of its iterations, yesterday was a bitter reminder. It was one in a long list of days where we watched the double-standards of justice in the United States play out. It was another instance where we witnessed what it looks like to be afforded humanity by law enforcement, to be given the benefit of the doubt in the media, and to be privileged to the point of hypocrisy and violence. And now, we are watching to see what consequences, if any, white supremacists could possibly face in a nation built upon white supremacy.
Yesterday’s domestic terrorism was encouraged by the current president, was met with a fraction of the show of force used against the protests for Black lives this summer, and although not surprising, is still damning. Today is a day where you are being asked to reaffirm your support of justice and liberation. This is the moment where allyship must go beyond comfort and where denouncement must be brave and direct.
Today is the day to decide how you will prevent another yesterday.