Today, Monday 18 January, it is Martin Luther King Jr day. People all around the world honor and celebrate him. A giant of the civil rights movement whose nonviolent resistance to the injustices of his era, racial segregation, employment discrimination, and the denial of the right to vote, enlighted the U.S and the world.
This day is coming only days after white supremacists stormed Capitol Hill, and killed five people. Jake Angeli, better known as «Qanon Shaman,» is one of those who stormed the Capitol, and he is also one of those we remember best from the storming.
Qanon Shaman is the man with his fur robes and horned helmet possibly the most photographed insurrectionist of the day, bore his position on his bare chest. What`s interesting to see is that he is tattooed with Norse and Viking symbols, in a far-right context, which evokes the whiteness of ancient Scandinavians.
Sloppy tattoos of Yggdrasil, or tree of life, covered his left pectoral. The Mjolnir, Thor`s hammer, emerged from his waistband. The walnut, the Viking «knot of the slain,» was inked over his heart. These are ancient Scandinavian symbols revived and twisted by 19th-century European nationalists and 20th-century Nazis, and their appropriation infuriates contemporary pagans and Heathens.
In the riotous crowd that stormed the Capitol, the «militant masculinity» of the Vikings has appeal. It`s very telling these are warrior images, at least in their heads.
Among the flags hoisted at the Capitol by insurrectionists, we saw the stars and bars of the Confederate battle flag, the defiant «Don`t Treat On Me» exhortation of the Gadsen flag, revived in the 2000s by the Tea Party.
Proud Boys was there with Viking-inspired tattoos as well. They were marching through the streets of D.C, bearing a shirt emblazoned with 6MWE: Six million wasn`t enough.
People are so confused by the bizarre appearance of some of the insurrectionists. Qanon Shaman remote from the disciplined masses we associate with, say, Hitler`s brownshirts.
The toxic combo of goofiness and fascism is simplicity American and has its roots in the Ku Klux Klan, whose members donned white hoods and robes as «ghosts» to intimidate African-Americans, who were seen as uneducated and superstitious.
This is not what the Republican Party stands for. What the Republican party stands for are Law and Order. Those who stormed the Capitol are not patriots, they are terrorists.
The insurrectionists came to the Capitol with symbols. Most of the were Trump-flags, but some of them had the Confederate flag, first swung on the country`s battlefields by secessionist states who saw their future in the enslavement of others; the gallows and noose, shorthand for the terrorization of African-Americans under Jim Crow as well as quick and dirty frontier justice.
The contrast to the Martin Luther King Jr day couldn`t better. In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr led more than 200,000 Americans in a March on Washington in pursuit of jobs and freedom for all people.
Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he called on Americans «to sit down together at the table of brotherhood» and meet our promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr, and throughout his life, exemplified the quintessential American belief that we will leave a brighter, more prosperous future for our children.
In the face of tumult and upheaval, Dr. King reminded us to always meet anger with compassion in order to truly «heal the hurts, right the wrongs, and change society.»
It is with this same spirit of forgiveness that we come together to bind the wounds of past injustice by lifting up one another regardless of race, gender, creed, or religion, and rising to the first principles enshrined in our founding documents.
Indeed, Dr. King described America’s Constitution and Declaration of Independence as promissory notes left by America’s Founding Fathers for «every American to fall heir.»
His dream, rooted in the American Dream, was that our children might be «judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.»
This dream, he hoped, would finally let freedom ring for all people.
As Dr. King stated in 1961, at the heart of his dream s «equality of opportunity.» For Dr. King, Trump said in a speech last year, the march toward civil rights is intertwined with economic empowerment.
Trump`s Administration has fully embraced this spirit, taking historic action to create jobs and uplift every community across the U.S and reaching the lowest unemployment rate for Black Americans ever recorded. (Editor: but that was before the virus destroyed everything).
Through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Trump`s Administration created nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones that have produced more than $75 billion in new investment in distressed neighborhoods.
It is clear now more than ever before that we can no longer allow the American Dream to be deferred for Black Americans, Trump said. However, in this march toward equality, we cannot permit any «creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.»
As a student of nonviolence, Dr. King called on us not to «satisfy the thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.» In the national effort to achieve freedom and equality, and in this shared love of country, we must endeavor with all our might to meet the promissory notes endowed to us by our Founding Fathers, as Dr. King fervently wished, Trump said.
Last year, Mike Pence quoted King during an interview with CBS; «Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy,»
Dr. King is best known for his «I have a dream» speech, and a lot of people around the world share his idea of «dreams,» but some people on this planet think they could kill the dream by slaying the dreamer, but as the example of Martin Luther King`s life shows;
People like that are always wrong.
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