As we begin healing from the collective trauma we have experienced over the last four years, I wanted to make a final observation best summed up with a personal experience.
I received a message recently with a screenshot of a post from a mutual friend. As I read her words, I was heartbroken. To read the comments of a former colleague and friend, lamenting what she referred to as the “colour revolution” bringing our country down was shocking:
“I now deeply fear that those of us who have been ‘awakened’ were asleep for far too long. The stronghold of the ideological takeover (aka: colour revolution) in our beloved republic may be too strong to defeat. We might be straight up in chapter 1 of the book of Revelations now.
I was hopeful in the constitutional process. I was hopeful that justice would be served. Joe Biden is not our elected president, though he may sit in the White House.”
— Name withheld
The words have a chilling effect on me. Chilling, not because I haven’t heard them before. I’ve read or heard rants such as this in the news from the QAnon and Proud Boys tribes, among others.
What was striking about this particular rant was that it was from someone I know very well, or at least thought I did.
We used to work together at a church. Unlike so many of those who insist on denying the validity of the election, she does not appear to be one who would hold fringe views. No, she is a suburban wife and mother. She owns her own business, by which she gave my own kids their first jobs. She is your every day, next-door neighbor.
But, I suppose there is a silver lining woven into these hellish last four years. A light was shone on the latent, insidious racism and deniers of systemic injustice — who in so doing perpetrate it — permeating our society. Now we not only know what we are up against, but we also know from whom the evil views emanate.
As Joe Biden, our duly and legally elected 46th President of the United States, takes his oath, there is much work for us to do. We cannot rely upon any single elected official or a political party to fight against those things that would destroy our country’s promise and dream.
Considering what was accomplished with our most recent election, I see much cause to rejoice.
In Kamala Harris, we have elected the first woman and person of color to be our Vice President. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff will be Georgia’s newest Senators, the first Black person and the first Jewish person, respectively, to be elected for that office from their state.
Joe Biden is filling up his Cabinet with what looks to be an incredibly diverse team. His appointments include the first openly gay cabinet member, Pete Buttigieg, as Secretary of Transportation and Rachel Levine as assistant Secretary of Health, who, if confirmed, will be the first transgender person to serve in a Senate-confirmed position. General Lloyd Austin will be our first Black Secretary of Defense.
Joe Biden ran on the notion that we must reclaim the soul of America. That is the task before us, and it will involve standing against the sins of systemic injustice. We cannot rest or think that the victory in November is the end of the campaign. There is no longer any room for neutrality. As Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel noted:
“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented.”
With many of our most cherished institutions complicit, the privileged have kept the dream of our nation’s founders at bay for too long. The only way to overcome the darkness of pervasive injustice and oppression is to shine a light on it and call it out for what it is.
It’s interesting that the term “colour revolution” referenced something to be fearful of when historically it is most closely used in connection with the uprising of countries in the former Soviet Union as they stood against oppression and injustice. One could say that Biden’s victory last November was a historic number of Americans standing up against and rejecting the oppression and injustice of the last four years.
My ex-colleague laments the “colour revolution.”
I celebrate it.