Reflection: The White Nationalist Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the Scourge of Privileged Exceptionalism

Reflection: The White Nationalist Insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and the Scourge of Privileged Exceptionalism

There are two very significant social/cultural mechanisms at play in the white terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol which can help us all understand better what happened, why it happened, and what is to come of it.

One is that the insurrection demonstrates the threat of the raw power and control of a populist narcissistic fascist figure in their ability to brainwash and command control of others who share their toxic values which are always self serving and always end in violence.

Populism is always framed as an ‘us vs. them’ conflict and contains two primary claims: 1) a country’s ‘true people’ are locked in conflict with outsiders, including establishment elites, and 2) nothing should constrain the will of the ‘true people.’ (reference:

Populism is always a threat to democracy and there are always people susceptible to its’ appeal ‘to fight the elites as one of the true people.’ This brings to mind Benjamin Franklin’s answer, which is so relevant now, when he was asked if we have a monarchy or a republic, and he responded, “a republic if you can keep it.”

Second, the insurrection, and the weak, disorganized response to it demonstrates the ugly truth of white supremacy in the United States, and its’ continuing toxic legacy of hate, social injustice, and violence directed to black Americans.

Robert Jones Jr., author of ‘The Prophets’ and creator of the social justice media site ‘Son of Baldwin,’ puts it this way: “White supremacy ensures that white folks violence is always framed around “rights” and black folks violence is always framed around “crime.” This is so evidently true as witnessed in the law enforcement response to Black Lives Matter nonviolent protest earlier this year and its response to the white supremacist movement involved in the insurrection at the United States Capitol. BLM non-violent protesters, viewed as criminals, are meet with overwhelming law enforcement force, violence, and arrest while law enforcement’s encounters with white supremacist are much more careful to not infringe upon their ‘rights as citizens.’

Bottom line, populism and white supremacy are two of democracies biggest threats. Those that wrongly adhere to these movements will always exist calling for perpetual vigilance by those who wish to keep our republic guided by authentic democratic principles guaranteeing the liberty and rights of all people. We must forever repudiate the sickness of privileged exceptionalism, and as guardians of democracy must ever resist, at every turn, the forces that perpetuate these evils upon others using non-violent means to disrupt their organization and influence through , as John Lewis would say, ‘engaging in good trouble’ for the common good of all who love democracy and wish to see it reach its’ most full potential.
Doing our part as social/cultural change agents and activist for social justice, let us each awaken from our somnambulance and prepare the way for the common good of all peoples loving democracy!

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