By: Ricky L Jones/ Louisville Courier Journal
Republicans, you should not be allowed to speak about being shocked by President Donald Trump or the recent right-wing raid in Washington, D.C., for your words ring hollow.
You all should be forced to shut the hell up unless whatever you have to say begins with, “I’m sorry.” You should not be allowed to condemn Trump or attempt to distance yourselves from him unless you begin with, “I have helped him, and I’m sorry.” You should not be allowed to cast aspersions on the people who stormed the Capitol building unless you begin with, “I helped cause this, and I’m sorry.”
You’ve known what we’ve all known about your lord and savior Donald Trump from the beginning, and you didn’t care. You still loved him. You should admit it and apologize!
My Morehouse brother and University of Connecticut professor Jeffery O.G. Ogbar summed it up well in a recent dispatch, “Donald J. Trump showed the world that he was unfit for the job as president when he ran in 2016. A pathological liar, over the next four years he assembled a collection of unqualified, corrupt and odious characters who, in record form, were indicted, arrested, pleaded guilty, were convicted or resigned.”
Ogbar is also correct when he observes Trump “pandered to the worst qualities in people — their fears and ignorance.” Yes, Trump is a liar, racist, demagogue and madman. But you Republicans, you so-called conservatives, were just fine with it. You loved it all. Yes, you loved him deeply, supported him unfailingly, demonized anybody who opposed him and rode shotgun with that maniac for the last four years. Don’t stop now — KEEP RIDING! Your stories live here.Fuel your hometown passion and plug into the stories that define it.
Stop using Trump as your fall guy now that he’s done. You ALL should apologize, because you all are guilty. You have behaved like closed-minded, mean-spirited, nativistic, bigoted opportunists and sycophants without conscience or confession openly and notoriously.
So-called conservative politicians (from the vice president to the Senate majority leader to state house representatives), businesspeople, public relations experts, television personalities, newspaper writers and everyday people — you are all guilty. You have either supported the insanity actively or stood by silently while it rose to a maddening crescendo. Trump isn’t the disease, he’s a symptom. You are the disease. You are the problem. He was just your hitman. He will leave office, but you and your nastiness will remain.
You now have the temerity to leave your political posts in Trump’s orbit at the end of his reign of terror? No, you should be forced to stay. You dare to open your mouth on the Senate or House floor to condemn lies challenging a democratic election? No, be still. You supported all the other lies. Support this one, for you caused it as well.
You feign outrage now and say you are appalled when you see the Capitol building attacked? Stop it! You have gaslighted those racist, neo-Confederate foot soldiers for years. You are their benefactors. You are their champions. You are their friends. Their acts are your responsibility and your shame.
No thinking person is surprised by this. We all see the contradictions. Police weren’t prepared for what they inevitably faced from the insurrectionists in Washington because they were white. They subsequently took it easy on them because they were white. White people are always given the benefit of the doubt in America. The next thing you know, a booted Bubba is sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s office with his feet on her desk, scrawling threats. DeQuan would have been dead before breaching the building. That’s on you, Republicans. Own it.
You cried bloody murder when Black people and their allies stood up or took knees for justice and decency after they saw their kin killed in the streets by agents of the state all over the country. You called for blood when a few buildings were damaged or looted. Know this: Taking a few things from a Target store is nowhere near the same as targeting the nation’s Capitol.
Your white supremacy and racism have prompted you to spend years glorifying the Confederacy, Confederate statues, memorials, villains and fabricated history. And now you have your brethren marching through the Capitol, largely unfettered, waving Confederate flags. This is what you, and you alone, have wrought.
You now want to blame Trump. You want to make it his fault, his responsibility, his legacy. No, it belongs to all of you! You have enabled him and the insurrectionists. You have made excuses and rationalizations every step along the way. You have condemned those who sought reason and humanity. You have painted those of us who fight against American racism as racists. You all are culpable. You all are guilty!
Now you say once again, “This is not who we are.” Yes, it is. This is exactly who you are. And it is who you’re going to be until you apologize and work on changing. Until you can sincerely do that — SHUT THE HELL UP!
Ricky L. Jones is a professor and political philosopher with degrees from Morehouse College and the University of Kentucky. He is also the host of iHeart Media’s award-winning “Ricky Jones Show.” His column appears bi-weekly in The Courier Journal. Visit him at rickyljones.com.