Have We Hit Bottom Yet? By Mark Lampkin

I am glad that I took a little longer to write this month’s article. Not that there isn’t enough craziness in our Nation, on a daily basis, that we seek to decipher and understand. Yet, today, February 4, 2022, may just be one of those seminal moments…that will either move us forward or propel us further downward into an abyss that we may need decades from which to recover.

The Republican National Committee did something today that, only when we have some years behind us, will be seen as nothing less than seditious and likely, traitorous behavior. Today, the RNC censured two of their own, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger. What did they do to elicit such a strong rebuke? They dared to agree to serve on the Committee that is investigating the events of the January 6th, 2021 insurrection and domestic terrorist attack at our nations’ Capitol building, and the people who were certifying the 2020 election results.

We all know what happened. We have seen too-much-video footage. Police officers were attacked and killed. Congress members were herded into safe rooms because military-trained men were coming to kidnap, and possibly, kill them. Feces was smeared throughout the building. Black men and women who work as custodians…had to clean up that s##t.

Yet the RNC today made this public statement about their GOP colleagues: “They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol.”

We MUST understand what is unfolding right in front of our very eyes. The Republican Party is removing any doubt about their intentions…to regain power and maintain a “minority-based” authoritarian regime that is ever more akin to the apartheid South African government that was dismantled in the 1990s. They have gone “all in” behind the lies that Donald Trump continues to spew about the election of 2020 where he lost his bid for re-election.

For those of us hoping to go back to some sense of normalcy, from COVID, from politics, and from rising acts of violence against Asian and Black Americans, this latest bombshell is proof that “normal”, or progress, is likely not going to happen anytime soon. The GOP is determined to use fear and folly to stoke the flames under their ill-informed electorate and keep all of us from catching our breath and believing that justice will prevail.

If anyone with half of their brain cells operating normally can look at the events of that day of insurrection and think that those people were engaged in “legitimate political discourse”, you might want to offer them the names and phone numbers of mental health professionals. Yet, we have seen, over the past 6 years, how many people truly believe in anything that falls out of the deceitful mouth of the 45th POTUS.

Rather than be surprised anymore, we have to mobilize. We have to, like our ancestors, meet in those “closed rooms” and craft plans to ensure our people’s safety and reject any attempts to nullify our right as a U. S. citizen to cast our ballots during any and ALL elections. It is time to stop chasing rainbows and butterflies – acting as if what is spreading throughout more states that consider themselves KKKonservative, is an aberration. It would be like someone with an infection in their foot ignoring the spreading of the diseased and dying skin going up their leg.

Denial, whether individual or collective, is a recipe for disaster. Sadly, this Nation has been in denial from her inception. How else can it be explained that wealthy, white men could craft a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution securing their freedom from England, yet hold African people as property…aka, Slaves? That is some serious, and insidious, denial.

We have been told that a person, or a society, must hit rock bottom before healing can begin. Before forward movement can proceed. If this is true, then we must wonder how much farther this nation must sink before we hit bottom. Judging from what we are witnessing this week, that noise you are hearing is us plummeting ever faster lower…to a place that only ancestors of Stalin’s Russia or Mussolini’s Italy could understand. Hitler’s German citizens stood by and watched as he lied his way to power…and ultimately to the Holocaust.

Maybe we will hit a bottom so low that it will make history’s evil men, and all the atrocities they perpetrated, look like altar boys. American exceptionalism on full display. Books being banned and soon burned. Women being forced to carry to term a child from a rapist. Poverty and hunger, the likes of which we have never experienced. Anti-lynching laws NOT PASSED. Voting rights legislation, NOT PASSED. The teaching of actual American history being punished. Will we learn from history or be doomed to repeat it? Or just keep watching Football games…