Originally posted on Facebook on January 6, 2021.
also let’s be clear what the real “threat” is to these insurrectionists: because it’s not just losing trump in the white house, or gaining joe. their real fear has nothing to do with replacing one white male septuaginarian with another, and everything to do with someone who was instrumental to making that happen. the same person that many of us were elevating this morning, before the coup began.
i’m talking about stacey abrams.
she is their nightmare: not just a black woman but a dark-skinned fat black unmarried woman who has, alongside so many other black women, done exactly what white supremacy has been fearing ever since the institution of chattel slavery. she has put black people into power in the old confederacy. that work has been going on for generations. stacey abrams did none of it alone. but it has culminated in her efforts.
the last time the pastor of ebenezer baptist church became too powerful for white comfort, he was assassinated. mlk’s power was his voice, and whiteness had to silence it.
the precipitating event for this white violence is ostensibly the certification of biden’s win, not warnock’s election. but i don’t think it’s accidental that these two come so close together. that the frenzy of white terrorism should reach such a pitch on the same day that the inheritor of mlk’s pulpit is elected to hold the same power that his ancestors could only critique from the outside.
there’s a reason that georgia was the state that trump called, and not wisconsin or michigan.
growing up in the northeast it was easy to dismiss the south — the racist, white supremacist south; it was all backwards there. and every single non-black person who calls themselves anti-racist needs to stop that shit yesterday (i am very much implicating myself here!), because the black organizing tradition in the south has done more for freedom in this country than any non-black community anywhere. full stop. we need to fucking genuflect, to learn and follow, not to mock and feel superior.
fifty-plus years ago, the white terrorists thought that bullets would be enough; enough to take out martin, and malcolm, and medgar, and surely that would restore the proper white supremacist hierarchy. but stacey abrams has shown them how wrong they were and so now the object of the violence has shifted, from individuals to institutions — not just the black churches that have always been targets of terror and violence but even the us capitol building, now that the black church has, at long last, found its way in.
trump is a figurehead and a shit-stirrer, but this violence has very little to do with him, and everything to do with the white nationalism on which this country was explicitly founded. this *is* america. for precedent we don’t need to look to nazi germany but to the statehouses and city halls of the former confederacy during reconstruction, when black citizens held power so briefly, before it was violently taken from them by white terrorists, with the assistance — sometimes active, sometimes passive — of white law enforcement. there have been coups in this country before. we are rarely taught them, because the victors were always the white terrorists.
and if we can write a different ending to this coup, this moment, this white terrorism: it will not be because of law enforcement, or joe biden, or ‘unity’, or anything else that whiteness has to offer. it will only come from the wisdom of the black southern freedom tradition; from people like raphael warnock and stacey abrams and all the organizers whose names we don’t know. it will come from knowing that getting trump out of office isn’t the end of this fight but only its newest beginning. it will come from black women, and black femmes, and black trans people.
one of the most important pieces of liberation and anti-oppression co-strugglership is known as ‘ancestor work.’ white people are notoriously resistant to it, and with this coup we can see why: because while our shock flatters us, the truth is that this is not new. the truth is that our non-black ancestors faced this violence before and they. failed. it.
they failed themselves.
let’s not fail ourselves, now.