TA columnist Rick Elkin has disingenuously chosen Black History Month to attempt to compare a deadly insurrection against our democracy to the civil rights demonstrations of Martin Luther King and others. Mr. Elkin pointedly dares to compare the marchers attack on Congress where the “demonstrators” left behind 50 seriously injured police and two officers later committing suicide, with King’s Civil Rights March in Selma where those peaceful marchers were themselves the victims of attacks by whites and Alabama state troopers that left four civil rights activists dead and dozens injured.
Elkin compares peaceful, non-violent blacks who were seeking to be visible in their quest to repeal centuries of repression, injustice and violence against blacks in Alabama – black men, women and children who were being ruthlessly clubbed, water hosed, attacked by dogs and shot at for daring to ask to be treated like white Americans – with Trump followers who texted one another prior to their march for all to be prepared “to go wild,” carried plastic zip ties to capture Congressmen, wandered the halls of Congress calling for the death of specific Congressmen, planted pipe bombs, carried clubs and other instruments to strike those who stood in their way, built a scaffold with a noose hanging from it and transported a cache of firearms to the site in at least one van.
Make no mistake about it. What our Congressmen, our Constitution and our democracy were threatened with on January 6 was a coup. We can argue whether it was a coup only formulated by those who attended the march or if it was a coup planned for – or certainly hoped for – by Donald Trump further on, but it was a coup attempt. It was the single greatest threat to our democracy internally in the history of our country.
No, Mr. Elkin, this was nothing similar to a march to protest white inhumanity to black Americans. This isn’t even comparable to frustrated angry blacks making the wrong choice to erupt in damaging their own neighborhoods in Watts during 1965 as you assert, given that the terrible rioting was not an insurrection aimed at our form of government, that they did not call for the death or capture of anyone of authority and that the rioters were widely criticized, not designated as universal heroes as you imply.
Until all Americans recognize January 6 for what it was a violent, unnecessary insurrection in response to a political lie and political manipulation — and, after reading the Elkin column, an obvious need for whites to understand, appreciate and respect the inequality and suffering blacks have long experienced in America, as well as rejecting the myth that the majority of Mexican immigrants are, as Trump put it, “Drug dealers, criminals and rapists,” this country cannot fully heal from the cancer of the past four years.
Mr. Elkin’s writing simply re-enforces what I have been saying all along: the root of “Make America Great Again” is really more about “Make America White Again.”
DAVID BARBER, Escondido