S.E. Williams | Executive Editor
“[N]ever play with insurrection unless you are fully prepared to face the consequences of your play. Insurrection is a calculus with very indefinite magnitudes, the value of which may change every day; the forces opposed to you have all the advantage of organization, discipline, and habitual authority: unless you bring strong odds against them you are defeated and ruined.”
– Karl Marx
Much continues to be written about the national tragedy of the failed insurrection that continues to rock the nation.
Without a doubt the deadly events at the nation’s Capitol on January 6th forced this country to take a long hard look in the mirror. No longer is this nation able to pretend concerns over White nationalism are hyperbolic; that warnings about the dangers of White Supremacists were unwarranted, or that there are those at all levels of governments who support and enable such ideology.
More than 150 years since the end of the Civil War, those who believe in the flawed theory of White superiority, who despise the idea of multiculturalism and fear the very idea of not being in power with unlimited control continue to fight for a cause “lost” decades ago.
What we learned is at the local, state and federal levels we can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to the large swath of Americans still clinging to remnants of this “Lost Cause,” to pretend their penchant for violence is not real.
But what happens, you ask, when duly elected officials in your own community demonstrate their commitment to this cause? The answer is simple—they must be held accountable at the polls.
Those committed to a mindset of White Supremacy are working overtime to pull this nation apart, using the old and festering wound of racism. Like a sore attempting to scab over, they peel the scab away again, and over again.
Yet, despite the treacherous attempted insurrection fueled by the madman-in-chief soon to leave office, and cosigned by his legislative supporters, there is a healing balm in the recognition these people—though great in number—do not represent most of the nation. In addition, there is hope and a cautious optimism in the promise of the coming administration.
In the meantime, there is a reckoning and soul searching that must take place within our own local jurisdiction involving some of those who represent the inland region in Congress.
California’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives has about 53 members including Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Although the majority of the state’s Congressional representatives are Democrats, all representatives regardless of party, take the same oath—to uphold the nation’s Constitution.
Despite this oath, 147 House Republicans from across the country voted not to certify the Presidential election, including seven from California. Among the seven, two are rooted in the inland region—Representative Ken Calvert of Corona and Representative Jay Obernolte of Big Bear Lake.
For those who would argue these men represent the passions of their constituents I acknowledge that may well be true; but it is also true they took an oath to the U.S. Constitution. They also know there was absolutely zero foundation for their seditious act beyond racism and blind loyalty to a leader and political party obviously and largely steeped in racist and anti-Semitic sentiments and ideology. Though this is not true of all in their party, very few have found a voice loud enough to disavow it.
The racism embedded in Republican claims of election fraud was so overt it harkened back to some of the most egregious actions of their forebears to deny the franchise to Black voters. To some extent the lemmings in the electorate who bought into the endless cycle of disinformation, inflammatory rhetoric and unrelenting falsehoods about a rigged election might generously be considered willfully ignorant especially since more than 50 courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, deemed otherwise.
For Calvert, Obernolte and others who cosigned the nonsense and voted against certifying the election thereby giving a veneer of credibility to the madness, there can be no forgiveness.
The hypocrisy of so many Republicans who, while clinging to the Constitution with one hand, spewed words of comfort to the rioting insurrectionists as they voted against the Constitution, was galling.
Such an inglorious act by U.S. Congressmen to thwart the will of the nation’s electorate is unconscionable. These people are unworthy of the office they hold. Regardless of any other consequence for their betrayal, they must be voted out, but they are not the only ones. Beyond these individuals who gave cover to the rioters and insurrectionists, other local officials who tacitly approve of what occurred—should also look for another job.
There are those who might argue the Congressional seats held by Calvert and Obernolte are secure as they were elected by people who think like them. In response I say, if two extreme, right-wing Republican Senators can be defeated in a state that sits at what was once the heart of the old confederacy, I believe anything is possible.
This nation has demonstrated before, and will prove once again—insurrectionists will not prevail.
Of course, this is just my opinion. I’m keeping it real.
S.E. Williams is executive editor with the IE Voice and Black Voice News.