On January 6, 2021, a group of Trump-supporting rioters stormed the capital because they believed that the election was rigged against them. The rioters were carrying Gadsden flags and Confederate flags. If they weren’t decked out in Trump gear, they were wearing QAnon shirts, or Oath Keepers hats, or even American National Socialist pins. One man was even spotted wearing a “Camp Aushwitz Work Brings Freedom” shirt. It’s so crucial that we look at things like this. None of these symbols straight out say, “Hey, I’m a Nazi,” but they definitely allude to this.
A dog whistle is effective because dogs have a different range of hearing than humans. They can hear things that we don’t. Dog whistle statements are used to have one meaning to other members of a group and another to the general public. For example, the "OK" hand symbol is used by the Proud Boys, who are a well known far-right, neo-fascist organization. When they use the hand symbol, it looks innocuous and makes the people who call it out appear crazy to someone who doesn’t have any prior knowledge. White supremacists use this plausible deniability to their advantage. We, as Americans, have to kick this habit of giving these hateful people the benefit of the doubt. It’s important to remember that white supremacy doesn’t always manifest itself in the form of a swastika.
People find power in symbols. Whether you like it or not, Trump and his MAGA brand have become symbols for white supremacists to empower themselves with. This was not an act of stochasticism. This has been building up for hundreds of years, and as scary as it is, there’s probably more to come. This is the result of a system that has failed. People are mad. They’re losing jobs; they aren’t getting a liveable wage, and can’t afford medications that can save their lives. However, this isn’t an immigrant’s fault or a Jewish person’s fault; it’s the result of a deteriorating system, which was founded on the best interests of rich slave owners. It needs serious reform. An insurrection on the Capitol isn’t going to fix this.
This attack was premeditated by Trump and a direct attack on our democracy. The rioters didn’t storm the Capitol because they were fed up with government corruption; they did it because they didn’t like the result of an election. Rioters walked into the capital with guns and American flags, but it will never be patriotic to be against our democracy.
image from: nationalgraphic.com,
PHOTOGRAPH BY SHAY HORSE, NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES