Hate is permeating our entire lives. From the January 6, 2020 insurrection to the murders of six Asian women in Georgia, hate is out of control. Capitol police officer Harry Dunn appeared on Don Lemon’s show and revealed just how much hate played a part of the insurrection. Both he and a fellow officer were called racial epithets, and Dunn commented that “we love our country even though it doesn’t love us back.” How must it feel to say that? Unless you are a racial minority — especially a Black in America — you really cannot know how it feels. If you are a Black like me who grew up when racist behavior was the norm and believed we turned the corner a long time ago, it is even more painful. Sure, we knew pockets of ignorance still existed, but recent events have made us, once again, almost afraid to walk down the street. Worse, we have people in our government who not only refuse to acknowledge the problem, but they add to that problem — people like Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Johnson, appearing on a radio talk show, said that he never feared for his life during the terrorist attack at the Capitol, but had BLM or Antifa (which is not even an organization) stormed the Capitol, he would have been afraid. Johnson obviously received blowback on that comment from every corner, but he doubled down by saying that what he said was not racist. What was it then? CNN reported that former DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey explained it best: “Senator Johnson is clearly part of the problem. Those comments were racist…. It’s ridiculous.” When Johnson appeared on this show, he said that the terrorists were “people that love the country, that truly respect law enforcement.” Really? Is that why they sprayed officers with chemicals and beat them with flags and their own shields? Please. These people love and respect nothing. People like Johnson, who automatically make assumptions about people because of the color of their skin, are indeed the problem. These officers—regardless of color—risked their lives that day to protect people, including Johnson, but he is not alone in his shame. When Congress took the opportunity to show its gratitude to the officers, twelve members opted out.
Newsweek named them: Louie Gohmert, Michael Cloud and Lance Gooden of Texas; Marjorie Taylor Greene and Andrew Clyde of Georgia; Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube of Florida; Andy Biggs of Arizona; Thomas Massie of Kentucky; Andy Harris of Maryland; Bob Good of Virginia and John Rose of Tennessee. They claimed to object to the “language” of the resolution and wanted to remove reference to the insurrection, though removal will not erase it from history. Gohmert submitted a revised version, claiming the resolution “does not honor anyone, but rather seeks to drive a narrative that isn’t substantiated by known facts.” Apparently, the FBI investigations and 315 people arrested were not based on “facts.” Until the representatives elected to serve the people—ALL the people—can discuss these issues honestly, the hate and racism will continue.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years