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  • Writer's picturemaaeah

How History Repeats Itself: The Modern Day Storming of the Bastille

A discussion on how greed and thirst for power cause civil unrest, spotlights white supremacy with the world as the audience and violates every health safety protocol amidst a global pandemic.

Image by Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

Alright, take your pick, either we begin with a big LOL or a sincere five-minute sobbing session. Either one is 100% acceptable, reasonable, and valid. After celebrating the commencement of a New Year, especially this year, it is completely bogus that on day 6 of 2021, the world is flooded with graphic images of white supremacists and extremists trashing the United States of America's Capitol. May God (and everybody else with higher powers), bless us all.

Let’s get right into it, the mess that transpired on January 6th, was not only an embarrassment but a clear vision of how America’s equal treatment is nonexistent. Just a few months back, our media stations were bombarded with videos and live streams of violence, aggressive police responses, and pure hatred. For the first time, there was an overdue call to action to protect black lives, but only after the movement was met with full forces of racism, brutality, and of course, death.

Yesterday the world watched a national leader consciously invoke a violent response to what was essentially broken down to him not getting his way. An actual political temper tantrum. Multiple news outlets, including an article from the CBS 17 Digital Desk on, recalled a tweet from June of 2020 where Trump stated, that all who vandalize federal property shall be prosecuted with a minimum of 10 years of prison time.

This a complete breach of trust and safety for citizens of the United States, who are not white. What occurred yesterday was a definitive example of what it means to not only have white privilege but to exercise it in the most extreme way possible without fear of consequences or death. The surfaced photos of terrorists smiling and holding up trophies of their acts of crime, and then coverage of thugs being escorted out by police is a direct slap in the face to every single person that was discriminated against when participating in their rightful act of peaceful demonstrating for CIVIL RIGHTS. Not because their preferred candidate took an L, but for their right to be alive and not be shot down for jogging through a white neighborhood.

Image by Wynn McNamee / Getty Image

Breonna Taylor was shot in her own home, that’s why we march. George Floyd was slowly executed in broad daylight, that is why we are angry. Our sons aren’t allowed to play with toy guns, that is why there has to be an entire movement to remind those in charge that Black Lives Matter! Let us not forget the armed forces that met protestors on the same capitol’s steps less than a year ago. Armed forces that would have killed before allowing a black body to sit and smile in a government official's seat. There are two different United States, that much is clear. Those that are shocked by this disparity have clearly been living in a safe and secure bubble, and lucky for you I'm here to bust it.

The storming of the Bastille ignited the French Revolution in July of 1789. The symbolism behind this gruesome attack was to diminish the political representation of royalty and power. Not only was the Bastille a prison, but it also was an archive of government documents. The wild part is that at that time, the general people of Paris were suffering, starving, and willing to die for change.

Fast-forward to 2021, where similar actions were taken after instruction by the president to disrupt government election procedures, after being confirmed a loser. The time where the commander-in-chief resisted deployment of the National Guard after repeatedly declaring his belief that rioters are terrorists, but not specifying that he meant only ones with melanin.

The measures or lack thereof, taken to prevent a literal siege on the capitol were so minuscule in their efforts, that comparing them to the excessive force taken against protests of social justice cannot even begin to be formulated in a joint sentence. It saddens me that curious brown children are watching the news, and seeing the difference in treatment of people who look like them, in comparison to people of non-color.

Image by Author

The example that is being set is that white extremists are allowed to act as they please, their lives are valued and recourse will be judged after a fair trial. Brown skin is a threat, therefore the mentality of, “shoot first, ask later,” is continuously justified. Read that again. Murdering black bodies is continuously justified and normalized.

To top all of this off, we’re still in a global pandemic. The US is not united on regulations, causing complete chaos, spikes, and rising cases. While most other countries are locked down, and continuing to tighten their restrictions, we have terrorists mocking the storming of the Bastille and trying to start a hate-fueled revolution. It’s sickening, to say the least, and I grieve for the ongoing dismissal and devaluing of black life that persists in this country.

This isn't an anti-police or an anti-white piece. Let's be clear. This is a "WTF are we allowing in our front yard, and why do black lives continue to be treated as less than," post. This is a reminder to not let last year's energy for change die down, the work is far from done and the fight must go on. Happy New Year and Black Lives Matter.

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