Lest we forget, this is the week that we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday and the rise of Kamala Harris as our first Black woman U.S. Vice President. At the same time, we’re trying to recover from the shock of an insurrection by a group of thugs who stormed Congress at the direction of our current United States President, Donald J. Trump. There seems to be a lot of questions about whether the President should be punished or not for leading the insurrection against our democracy. To me, that is the wrong question. The question should be what is the extent of the punishment? Five Americans are dead, and an unknown number injured. That was not a question on September 11 when America was bombed. It was not a question when Black Lives Matter marchers peacefully protested and repeated use of excessive force was used against them.
In this case, the white rioters and lynch mob took selfies with their phones and with white police. White females were assisted by white cops. A black policeman had to run with a gun on his hip and a baton in his hand. The mob was yelling, “Hang Pence” and "Where is Nancy". The President who is the head of the rioters and lynch mob said, “I love you”, to the violent rioters. “Stand by” is also what the President told the violent lynch mob and rioters, in advance of them marching and storming Congress. Later he told them, “We have just begun.” Law and order, instead of law and justice, was what he had demanded of the non-violent marchers of Black Lives Matter victims who were violently attacked during their peaceful marches, after the murder of George Floyd by a white policeman.
It doesn’t do a lot of good to restate what happened in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021. By now, everybody knows what happened. It doesn’t do any good to ask what the intent was of those who brought guns, zip ties, gas masks, body armor, a noose, gallows, and a rope to the Capital that day. No one talks about it, but we know the intent was to carry out their leader’s call to fight and, implicitly, to kill.
The Terrorist lynch mob took over the Congress floor and were essentially praised for their violent efforts. As I watched, I was reminded of how my childhood was filled with violence and being called "nigger" by white classmates in public school (McKinley) in Bakersfield, California where current U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy was also a student. Though they bullied me, I overcame and went on to become a Pepperdine University graduate and a California Attorney. I’m sure it doesn’t matter to them, though. To them, I’m still “just another nigger”, not a citizen of a city on a shining hill. By the way, I was the first black man who ran for School Board Member of my and McCarthy’s hometown of Bakersfield. History will record that my aunt Marguerite Shaw won in the next school board election, a few years later.
In Law School, I learned you don’t shout fire in a crowded building. Another thing I learned in law school was the Felony Murder rule that says an unlawful death that occurs during the commission of a Felony is chargeable as murder. It seems to me that the deaths that occurred during the January 6, 2021 uprisings are murders, and all involved, including their leader, Trump should be held responsible and criminally charged.
The election of Oakland born Kamala Harris can be said to be a continuation of the progress of Black America and proof that the American Dream is alive and moving forward in spite of what is happening with the so-called President. Her story is a demonstration that says she was born to continue the struggle and has prepped herself to carry on with dignity, brains, and integrity to make us all proud, and she provides a role model to follow.
Her journey began ran from being elected as California’s State Attorney General, to winning a seat to represent California in the United States Senate against thirty-three competitors, to become the second black woman to sit in the U.S. Senate. She follows Carol Mosley Braun who previously represented Illinois. The Howard University graduate was appointed to run with Joe Biden as the Vice President of the United States and was successful in becoming the first woman and first Black woman to serve as United States Vice President. She is also a proud AKA Sorority member.
History will forever mark the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King and President Barack Obama as part of the continuum of the progress of Black America. Dr. King was the leader that we all looked to, to lead Black America to a promised land of freedom, justice, and equality. Barack Obama, whose story is still being written, will always bear the title of being “the one” who bears the mark as the personification of what King was striving for. That striving was to share in the American Dream. Their lives and histories are inextricably tied together though they lived in different times. The life and rise of Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris adds another chapter to the story.
At Sunday school in Bakersfield, I learned that the scriptures teach that no matter how dark the night, joy comes in the morning. The impeachment of the current President who has been impeached and who headed a deadly insurrection of the United States with Republican co-conspirators, is joy. Hopefully, he will be impeached again, and we will be done with him!