By, J. Isaac Noel Benjamin, II
The Chronicle News- Stock Photo
I have heard it said that journalism is an early first draft of history. With that in mind, referring to our commander and chief as the “Side-Show President” is an affront to the prestige the office of President of the United States' should command. However, if the shoe fits, it is time to own it!
First year law students learn that you cannot shout fire in a crowded movie theatre because of the foreseeable consequences. Similarly, a person in charge should not be immune from prosecution for inciting a riot that has reckless disregard for human life.
I never thought I would live to see a day when the person inciting a mob intent on violence would be associated with the White House. Not to mention that that person would be the President of the United States.
"Surely, you jest," would have been my complete response.
Several questions arise. Does the fact that Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States mean he is above the law? People died in the commission of a felony. How can we talk of accountability and look the other way? If law and order is to have any meaning, it must evenly apply to everyone or no one.
Deep amid a nationwide and worldwide pandemic how many additional people were infected with COVID-19? What will be the additional and unnecessary death toll?
I believe that one of the cornerstones of Democracy is that your individual and collective voices matter. No one group can assert themselves as omniscient through might and assume control as a dictator.
I was horrified to bear witness to the events of January 6, 2021. Just as I witness sitting Republican U.S. Senators helping to pump up the crowd at an early morning rally, there is no reason not to believe that the mob had additional inside help. How else do more than 8,000 people sneak down Pennsylvania Avenue with guns, bombs, and riot gear in broad daylight? While I have no direct proof of this, nothing else makes logical sense.
Members of this mob announced their intentions before marching (on the internet and vocally) loudly and publicly. There is no plausible deniability or earnest belief that President Trump didn’t know to whom he was giving the keys of the country too.
You don't show up in riot gear with teargas and guns, talking about, "Hey, this is a peaceful demonstration. No cause for alarm! Just vacate the seat of power, and everything will be okay (wink, wink, smile).
Before bearing witness to the last four years, if I had received a communication from the White House, I would have considered it my duty to respond. I volunteered for the U.S. Army and served proudly. What I witnessed makes me ashamed and embarrassed as an American.
Spewing Seditious lies that have no merit is just the tip of the iceberg. If you file more than 50 lawsuits declaring election fraud, it will stand to reason that you would have some proof. Lawyers are supposed to be officers of the court. As such, they are supposed to not knowing to tell misleading lies. Something about a “cannon of ethics.” When your only guiding compass seems to be money, there is an inherent problem. There appears to be as much proof of election fraud as finding weapons of mass destruction. As history bears out, neither election fraud nor "WMD" can be found.
One day after a riotous mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, the Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf had the following response.
He called on President Donald Trump to condemn the "unconscionable" violence at the U.S. Capitol, hours after thousands of rioters overwhelmed police and breached the building in an unprecedented assault on the Democratic process.
What’s unbelievable is that President Trump gave a Wednesday morning speech where he told the protester to march on the U.S. Capitol. Granted, they took his permission as a license to do bodily damage and commit felonies. Police say four people died, and more than 60 arrests were made Wednesday. Wolf said Americans have the right to protest peacefully, but any appearance of inciting violence by elected officials "goes against who we are."
"I implore the president and all elected officials to condemn the violence that took place yesterday strongly," Wolf said in a statement. "After a challenging and saddening 2020, it's time for every American to respect each other and the rule of law in 2021."
Hours later, the White House withdrew its nomination of Wolf to be the permanent secretary.
Former Attorney General William Barr, once one of Trump's most vigorous defenders, issued a statement describing Trump's conduct as "a betrayal of his office and supporters."
Trump, who previously dismissed Black Lives Matter protesters as "thugs," described Wednesday's rioters as "great patriots who have been badly and unfairly treated for so long."
Many civil rights leaders cast blame on law enforcement agencies for a slow response to rioters at the Capitol, noting the massive show of police force in place for Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year over police killings of unarmed Black men and women. President-elect Joe Biden stated in an announcement, “if the color of the mob were black, we all know there would have been a different outcome as to the police response.” Actions speak louder than words. The police response to a January 2020 protest speaks volumes.
It was more than evident that the people in charge were not prepared for what transpired. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, former chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Capitol police were "unprepared, ineffective and some were complicit. All of them should be held to account."
One eye-opening moment is when I saw police and protesters taking selfies. I cannot remember any riot through history where I can say this happened. Being born in the fifties, I still remember police using water hoses on black people to repel the crowd. After being soaked and beaten with clubs, they were then arrested.
Actions speak louder than words!
I must question the motives of this mob. They breached the U.S. Capitol, throwing teargas, physically attacking, and killing the police, and deploying bombs as a means of peaceful protest. Actions speak louder than words! If the predominant color of the people in the mob were black, there would have been a different seen on television. I shudder to think of how many in the group would have January 6, 2021, as their last day on earth. As stated by President Trump, these are our great Patriots, “I love you!” I believe the rest of the world has a quite different definition of Patriot.
One thing is clear. The Soul of America cannot be ransacked or taken by force against our will.