Insurrection. Isn’t that what is supposed to happen in countries whose names we can’t pronounce? Or countries we look down upon?

That was before. Before January 6th, when there was insurrection in the United States. In the capitol city, Washington DC. In the temple of our democracy, the US Congress.

On the other hand, isn’t our shock and disbelief just a tad disingenuous? To anyone who was listening, this was the logical conclusion of 4 years of Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric, and 400 years of White Supremacy. Unfortunately, quite a few of us weren’t really listening.  I, for one, have been listening, but I’d assumed the eventual riots would take place in the streets, not the U.S. Capitol Building.

And I didn’t think I’d hear about a cop telling a mobster where to find the bathroom. I didn’t think I’d see pictures of a rioter stealing the podium of the Speaker of the House. Or men looting and yelling death threats, as their mothers watched over them. We don’t need to see the homemade gallows complete with a noose, the Confederate flags, or the Auschwitz shirt to know what this was all about.

Shortly after the Civil Was, disadvantaged White people were purposely indoctrinated to believe that as long as they were better than Black people, all was well. This meant that poor White and Black people would not come together for more equality and opportunity. It meant unions could be crushed, manufacturing jobs moved overseas, and health care denied, and poor White people would continue to vote against their best interests.

Since I work with families, I see the impact this is having on family dynamics and well-being. Families are fracturing around their cultural and political viewpoints. Children are scared, really scared.  Since the riot, there is a lot of talk about healing. A good thing. However, we will never heal if we just try to put a band aid on the cause of this.

South Africa had some success with their Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They had Nelson Mandela. And they also realized that one can’t have reconciliation without truth. If our culture, and our families, are going to heal, we have to first face the truth.