On an Instagram post about some antiracist books I had been reading, my cousin commented about racism and white supremacy, with these words: “The world has a lot of problems, but I feel like this particular problem [racism] is at the root of all others.”
This was two years ago, and prior to her comment I had not considered the fact that it affected everything. Now, every time something else happens I think back to her comment and believe it even more. We saw it again yesterday.
The ridiculously unprepared police force at the U.S. Capitol and how these mostly white domestic terrorists were treated starkly contrasts with this summer’s police brutality against Black Lives Matter protestors (mostly black).
The only good thing we can say about the trump years is that we have had five years of the racism pot at a rolling boil, spilling and burning the whole country. The simmering under the surface had been harder to pay attention to.
Here’s another metaphor: Instead of living decade after decade in a country marked by general malaise about race relations, we have to acknowledge the five years we have lived with projectile vomiting and explosive diarrhea. White people can’t ignore the symptoms anymore, can no longer say it’s just a stomach ache, suck it up. White supremacy has reared its ugly head and we have seen it.
Wednesday was Epiphany, the day in the Christian church when we celebrate the revelation, the unveiling to the world of Christ’s deity, the light of the world. It is the commemoration of the magi arriving to worship Jesus. Yes, they came from afar, fell down and worshipped, giving valuable gifts, all to Jesus, a toddler.
So perhaps it is fitting that the whole world received a divine epiphany on Wednesday, a sudden and powerful manifestation of the truth and power of our white supremacist foundation in the U.S. On Epiphany, at his rally trump supporters were encouraged to go to trial by combat and mob the U.S. Capitol. Later after the violence, looting, pillaging and desecration the mob was told by trump, “You are loved. You’re all very special.”
Thursday, a day late, I celebrated Epiphany and the Light of the world, Jesus. I decided to have an Epiphany tree for awhile. Today I am grateful that many white people may have received a clear epiphany for the first time. They have seen unquestionably that white supremacy affects everything and we must all work to dismantle it. May God give us strength to keep fighting.