Episode 34: This is Who We Are

On January 6 2020 a crowd of white supremacists, white nationalists, and self-styled white ‘militias’ staged an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building in order to prevent the certification of the 2020 presidential election. U.S. Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri (left) saluted the rabble and affirmed their sedition. Not for the first time in U.S. history have elected officials urged domestic terrorists to overthrow constitutional practice. As the Thomas Nast cartoon entitled “This is a white man’s government” from an 1868 issue of Harper’s Weekly suggests, a long tradition of domestic terrorism has reinforced claims of white supremacists to have sole governing authority. “We regard the Reconstruction Acts (so called) of Congress as usurpations, and unconstitutional. revolutionary, and void” read the Democratic Party platform of that year, and white terror groups such as the Ku Klux Klan formed and spread death and terror to enforce the claims of white political leaders. Only the imposition of military rule over the South stemmed (temporarily) the tide of violence.

Hate to say we told you so, but….

On Wednesday, January 6 the coup plotters from the firm of Trump, Hawley, Giuliani, and Cruz made their bid, and like a scene from a horror movie, sent a horde of angry villagers up the hill to attack the castle. Adrenalized by a go-get-em speech from America’s grifter-in-chief, the MAGA maulers might have pulled it off, might have prevented the transfer of power with their wrestlemania cum kristalnacht autogolpe madness, if they’d only not stopped to take so many dang selfies in the Rotunda. Before the smoke had even cleared, Mr. Grifter serenaded the stormtroops with a “we love you” White House valentines videogram. Meanwhile, on a smaller stage in a converted community theater in Wilmington, Delaware, an astonished Pres.-elect sought to reassure us that “the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not represent a true America.” You sure Joe? Maybe ask the guy with the Confederate flag, or check how many of those selfies involved any of the nine Confederate heroes featured in the Capitol’s statuary hall. Was it just “a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness,” like ol’ Joe said? With the blood still fresh on their hands, later in the day 147 Republican congressmen voted to overturn the election. Like the man said, it ain’t over til it’s over, and this coup American style appears far from over.

Join us this week as Josh and our special guest co-host Edward Hashima sort through the rubble of recent events, and question whether the madness is really outside the ‘trajectory of American history,’ as some insist, or if in fact this is who we are.

Professor Ed Hashima

To Hear Episode 34 This Is Who We Are click on the podcast link below:


Sources Referenced and Items of Interest

Vincent Bevins, “The Hour of the Barbarian: Which America is the true one?” (January 14, 2021, N + 1 Magazine)


Kather Stewart, “The Roots of Josh Hawley’s Rage: Why do so many Republicans appear to be a war with both truth and democracy?” (January 11, 2021 The New York Times)


“The hour of the barbarian is at hand. The modern barbarian. The American hour. Violence, excess, waste, mercantilism, bluff, conformism, stupidity, vulgarity, disorder.”

Aimé Césaire

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