January 10, 2021 Editor

After Attempted Coup, We Must Fight White Supremacy and Sow Revolutionary Love

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After Attempted Coup, We Must Fight White Supremacy and Sow Revolutionary Love

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

WN: These are beautiful words, and a call to “revolutionary love” not only for fellow Blacks, but for all–Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Beloved Community”. All I can add: Amen!!!


Years ago my friend and teacher Mia Herndon listened patiently as I railed against capitalism and how broken the system was. Then she said, clearly, “Capitalism is not broken. It is working exactly as it was designed to work.” A light bulb went on in my head that has illuminated how so many things we want to call dysfunction are actually oppressive and inhumane systems functioning exactly as they were intended to work.

This line of thinking beamed through the performative shock of the attempted coup on January 6, when media pundits and interviewees said, “This isn’t American.”

Oh really?

White Supremacy Is Embedded in U.S. History

The confederacy, whose flag was waved in the Capitol building on Wednesday, was a four-year alignment of 11 states committed, among other things, to the right to own slaves. It emerged toward the end of a centuries-long period during which it was easily assumed that the role of people of African descent was to provide free labor until death. The foundations of U.S. wealth and reach are heavy bricks sunken into the bloody soil of that labor.

In the 19th century, the Union was declared the winner, and eventually emancipation was technically true on paper. But the systems were not abolished; they morphed into the prison-industrial complex. The wounds were not healed; they morphed into Jim Crow and then again into surface post-racialism and razor-sharp microaggressions and racist policies. They fester, still hungry for the heart of the nation.

When will it end?

When it is no longer controversial to assert that Black lives matter.

Today, we are far from that evolved place, but one thing is official: Republicans who bet on white supremacy, who bet on the Confederacy, have lost themselves the presidency, House and Senate. In four years.

Still, I “claim no easy victory,” as Amilcar Cabral, the Cape Verdean revolutionary, puts it. I know we are up against the ruling structures of a system, of a nation, that has never loved us. This is history unfolding, a pendulum swinging back and forth along prescribed lines. We must find a way out of those lines if our nation plans to outlive the Confederacy, and if — because racialized fascism is a growing global threat — our species hopes to outlive the Nazis.

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.