State of Belief is a weekly radio show that explores the intersection of religion with politics, culture, media, and activism, and promotes diverse religious voices in a religiously pluralistic world.
Manage episode 282946604 series 2429175
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Comrade Pitt, Peter Kamau Mukuria, calling in from Red Onion State Prison. This one is titled "Misinformation, Lies, and Conspiracy Theories and Making a Right-Wing Extremist." I be there. It'll be wild. Quote, unquote, you'll never take our country back with weakness. You have to be strong, quote, unquote, fight like hell, quote, unquote, these inflaming rhetorics weren't hyperbolic in nature but rather designed to incite a mob. These were words tweeted out about President Trump prior to and during the January 6th, 2021 rally: a day which will forever be marked by history as the day of sitting president incited his base to storm and seize the U.S. Capitol building. This act, which has been described as a failed coup d'etat, aimed at the heart of the symbolic American democracy was ironically committed by a political party or rather a cult which claims to be the party of quote, unquote law and order. An unprecedented attack of the nation's Capitol was the first in history which the country's own citizens seizes buildings, but this wasn't the first time that U.S. Capitol had been seized and under attack. The only other time this building was under attack was in 1814 when the British Army seized this building and set it on fire. The difference this time was that this wasn't a foreign occupying force but rather the country's own citizens. Uh, this failed coup d'etat was more than a matter of security failure and it's, um, in auspicious debate to argue on the merits of whether or not security failed when there's ample overwhelming proof that the Capitol police and the FBI were fully cognizant of potential violence. In fact, the day prior to the January 6, 2021 rally, the FBI warned the Capitol police of credible acts of violence planned for the January 6th rally. Even during the seige, the National Guard, when deployed as this right-wing mob, roamed the halls of the rotunda, desecrating the building, looting, assaulting, [inaudible] murdered one Capitol police who died from injuries stemming from being hit in the head with a fire hydrant. Subsequent to their hours-long escapade in the Capitol, the Capitol police then held the doors open for this mob as they exited the building. No attempts of arrest were made. The events of January 6th, 2021 confirmed what most people have predicted even warned about the greatest dangers of a Trump presidency. His presidential campaign of 2015 was predicated upon deliberate misinformation, bombardment of lies, and dubinng the media as quote, unquote the enemy of the people, such tactic is a page out of the old-fashioned fascist playbook. It was employed by tyrants such as Hitler. Mussolini, Stalin, et cetera. This is the go-to move by tyrants in order to radicalize their base and to believe in the most extreme fictitious conspiracy theories as their reality. Unlike prior, fascist dictators, what made Trump's deliberate misinformation and lies even more perilous was that his ideas and words were echoed and amplified through social media platforms, mainstream conservative news media, such as FOX news and conspiracy theory groups such as Qanon. These outlets made it relatively simple for Trump to not only to spew lies to his base about countless of lies, such a global warming being a hoax or a stolen election, which by the way, scientists have debunked these lies on global warming and numerous courts found no evidence of any fraudulent votes to corroborate his assertion over an election being stolen. Um, these outlets furthermore allowed the president to summon assemble in order his disillusioned base to seize the U.S. Capitol as their last ditch hope of somehow overturning a decided and confirmed election. The hypocrisy and double standards, because I was watching the events of January 6th, 20, 2021 unfold, I couldn't help, but recall how in a not-so-distant past, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem in protest of gratuitous police killings of unarmed minorities and racial inequality. And this peaceful protest was deemed disrespectful to the American flag and military. Ironically, these were the same kinds of people, mostly white conservatives and or Trump supporters, seeing assaulting Capitol police using American flags as weapons. Even most of those who engage in this fail coup d'etat were active informal members of the military, including off-duty police and even some on-duty Capitol police while complicit by moving barriers so that the mob may advance, even taking selfies with them. Another thing I noticed many people was how does violent mob, which consisted of all whites with the exception of a few minorities, was treated vastly different in comparison to how peaceful black lives matter protesters were treated. As many will recall in the summer of 2020, and the president ordered the National Guard to violently remove Black Lives Matter protesters from Lafayette Square, just so he may have a photo op in front of a church. Um, federal troops are summoned to mostly democratic states to conduct mass arrests. In most states, the National Guards will deploy days before these were protests even commenced. Yet, a violent mob was allowed to seize the U.S. Capitol bereft of resistance or arrest. The dichotomy illustrates why the fight for racial equality is a hot hill to climb. Yet it's a fight we must continue despite the obstacles. Reap what you sow. Words matter. And the [inaudible] of constant deliberate misinformation, lies, and conspiracy theories were the ingredients which led to the indelible January 6th, 2021 siege of the U.S. Capitol. This wasn't American citizens driven to extremism by some overseas terrorist organization, these were American citizens driven to extremism by a sitting president who turned a political party into a cult. For those who fathom the dangers of Trump's presidency, what occurred didn't come as a surprise. It was a classic case of the chickens have come home to roost. All power to the people, comrade Pitt. These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.