(TriceEdneyWire.com) – A violent insurgency engulfed the United States Capitol just six months ago. United States Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick has died and other Capitol Police officers are still healing. Investigators are still scouring videos and social media documenting the attempt to disrupt Congress’ claim of President Joe Biden’s victory. Just six months ago. But many Republican leaders are already trying to rewrite the history of that day and what led to it.
Some downplay the seriousness of the attack on Congress. They present the invasion as a tourist outing. Some far-right activists are trying to blame Trump supporters who were clearly responsible for instigating and carrying out the attack.
The people who spread lies about the Capitol uprising are the spiritual heirs of the Daughters of Confederation. They are the ideological descendants of those who spent decades lying to the American public about slavery and the Civil War.
The promoters of the pro-Confederation propaganda known as the “lost cause” ideology had a purpose. They wanted people to see the defense of slavery and the “southern way of life” as a noble cause. They wanted to create justifications for the brutally enforced segregation and subjugation of black people during the Jim Crow era. They created and promoted a false version of the story in the textbooks and the media. And they used this false version of the story to keep a grip on a power they didn’t deserve to have.
Republicans who deny or downplay the insurgents’ attempt to overthrow the presidential election are creating their own ideology of the lost cause. They try to portray Stop the Steal activists and insurgents as patriots pursuing a noble cause: the defense of “electoral integrity” and “purity of the ballot box”.
What we have here is layer after layer of lies.
Trump’s claim that his victory was stolen by black and brown voters in corrupt cities was the lie that fueled the rage of the insurgents. This has been repeated endlessly in the right-wing media. It is again repeated by Trump and his supporters to present President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris as illegitimate.
The stolen election lie is being used to justify new voter suppression laws aimed at preventing future Democratic victories. It’s a lie the Trumpists will use to mobilize right-wing white voters in 2022 and 2024.
The lies about the January 6 uprising began while it was still ongoing. Right-wing figures have claimed without evidence that the attack was not carried out by Trump supporters but by anonymous leftists. Some claim it was all planned by Trump’s “deep state” enemies in the FBI.
And now we have an extra layer: the rampant campaign against “critical race theory”. The fabricated panic over critical race theory demonstrates why right-wing funders have spent billions of dollars over the past decades to build an infrastructure of political and media networks. Think tanks, media, political organizations, religious right-wing groups, AstroTurf operations and Republican politicians have all taken action, sounding the alarm on the allegedly serious threat from students, soldiers and employees learning to think critically about racism in our country. past and our institutions.
They recycle red fear propaganda used against Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights activists, warning of Marxist infiltration and indoctrination in schools, businesses, government agencies and even the army. Conservatives who until recent months have proclaimed themselves champions of free speech and academic freedom have turned to a penny and support laws banning teaching or discussing racism in the classroom.
The Campaign Against Critical Race Theory is designed to frighten white parents and other Americans into fearing the growing presence of blacks and browns in positions of influence and power. It is designed to stir up fears and inspire fearful people to take action to “protect” themselves and those close to them. It is designed to bury our understanding of history in an effort to control the future. Its authors play with fire.
We cannot successfully face our future by lying about our past, ignoring the realities of the present, or forbidding the truth. Our way forward must be one of a democratic, multiracial, multi-ethnic and religiously diverse society, united by a common commitment to the principles of equality, equity, opportunity and justice for all.
Ben Jealous is president of People For the American Way. Comments on this article can be emailed to [email protected]