I have always believed that a “good life” requires planning and reflection, without which we have no way to measure the impact we make on life and vice versa. As objectionable as I find fortune teller-type predictions, an imperative of our contemporary society is a willingness to engage in personal reflection and the serious contemplation of our futures. In my opinion, there is no better time to do so than at the beginning of the new year.
Far too many in our community fail to look to the future seriously. My greatest disappointment is in those who have so very much to lose and who demonstrate so little concern about the futures they must face. I have spoken and written before about those who live life by default and move aimlessly from one crisis to another. Instead of asking why something is being done and what it means to their existence, they merely acknowledge that something happened. Instead of claiming control of their circumstance, they resign themselves to having no control nor wanting any control over their circumstance. Like the “house Negroes,” in words and deeds, they teach future generations the lesson of hopelessness.
The events of 2021 and the four years prior foretell a future that is threatening to the security of all Americans, especially African Americans and other people of color. Today, I received an article published in The Daily Beast, titled “The Weak Better Buckle Up.” A summary of the article stated, “A Daily Beast analysis of social media posts seems to paint McLeod as an author dedicated to alt-right philosophies — including violence.” In addition to killing five people and shooting a police officer before being killed himself, the article’s subject was dedicated to alt-right philosophies, including masculine supremacy, contrarian COVID-19 beliefs, and targeted violence against the “weak.” I can only wonder who he considered weak.
Last month, at a rally I referenced in a previous article, an attendee openly stated that it was time to start killing “these people.” I can’t say with absolute certainty, but the context of his statement made me feel as though I could have been a target. I found it more than interesting that the speaker AND his audience were cavalier about killing others whose ideas differ from their own.
We are now at the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. The terrorist goal was to subvert the will of millions of American voters and violently amend the Constitution for the benefit of a fascist president. Their chants and actions gave notice that they were mortal enemies of those with opposing ideas. Just as in Charlottesville, the whiteness of the terrorists and their rhetoric gave support to the analysis that their ultimate agenda was to recreate a nation of white power and white control despite the will of the majority.
There are some who will accuse me of painting all whites with a broad, race-based brush of condemnation. In fact, all Americans face a growing threat from the mostly white, homegrown terrorists who will not accept a country that is structured on merit-based achievement and equity of opportunity. They refuse to accept that power will be shared and that they hold no monopoly on intellectual brilliance or even ordinary common sense. They are more than willing to govern through intimidation and violence, targeting those who oppose their will.
I am not seeking my turn in front of the crystal ball. Instead, I am sounding a call to action to prevent our social devolution into a return to the hellish nightmare of legislated racism and discrimination.
Williams is national president of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc.