Today is January 5th, 2021.
We are 15 days away from Inauguration Day, and Biden being sworn in as the next president. Today is the day that Congress was confirming Biden's 2020 election win.
I don't normally mention citizenship or concepts related to it, but I felt that I needed to say a little about it today...
Like a plague, Trump supporters descended on Washington DC.
As I watched live streaming online and clips on social media, I noted the series of offenses (breaking and entering, refusing to wear masks, theft, destruction of federal property, DC curfew violation, etc.) and blatant disregard for human life (battery, assault, use of pipe bombs, people getting shot and killed, etc.).
I felt ambivalent towards it all because I was not surprised by their behavior. What I was interested in was the language that the media (TV, online, etc.) used to describe the event.
Q: What are words that I think should have been used to describe today's events?
A: Words like "terrorism", "mob", "violent", "illegal", "sedition", "hypocrisy" and "riot".
Q: What were the words that were used instead?
A: Words, terms, and apologisms like "patriot", "anarchy", "protestors", "first amendment", "rights", "Trump supporters", and "they said this [the US Capitol building] is the people's house". (The media showed reluctance to use the words like "rioters" with confidence. They were fLaBbErGaStEd by what they were seeing. They talked about the police being "overwhelmed". The spiciest word that we got to describe it all was "insurrection", and this term didn't even come from the media or law enforcement initially. It was initially used by Biden in his address to the American people.)
I'd be lying if I said that I expected the media to tell it like it is, or for law enforcement to respond to public disruptions in equitable ways. But every time I see them fail, I just...give up a little more.
I lament the cultural erosion that my family and I have endured for American citizenship a little more.
I embrace cynicism a little more.
Language has power, and I felt that power turn to tyranny as the media actively worked to minimize what those belligerent People of Non-Color did today downtown. I felt the power turn to tyranny through the body-language of the cops that stood around let them carry on for hours. (Some cops were even recorded running away from them.)
These were their people. They wouldn't hurt their people.
They allowed this:
They allowed their people to do all this.