Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by this author are their own and do not represent the official position of the Barbados Today.
by Suleiman Bulbulia
In December 1963 a reporter asked Malcolm X how he felt about John F Kennedy’s assassination and he replied: “Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never made me sad; they only made me glad.”
Malcolm X was silenced by the organization he belonged to at that time, ‘The Nation of Islam’, for 90 days for this remark. Once the period of silence was over Malcolm X explained to reporters what he meant. He said he saw the assassination as the result of racialized violence that had been prominent in America since its founding.
Significantly, Martin Luther King had similar sentiments. Dr. King said in the book ‘Why We Can’t Wait’ the following on Kennedy’s death:
“The unforgivable default of our society has been its failure to apprehend the assassins (of murdered Civil Rights leaders). It is a harsh judgment, but undeniably true, that the cause of the indifference was the identity of the victims. Nearly all were Negroes. And so the plague spread until it claimed the most eminent American, a warmly loved and respected president.”
Fast forward 57 years and in the same United States of America the same comments by these two giants in the movement for racial equality are as applicable today.
The chickens certainly came home to roost last Wednesday in the capitol of the USA, Washington D.C. and the plague certainly spread and its victims were in the halls of power of the great America.
Insurrection, attempted coup, domestic terrorism, whatever title one chooses to call it, the fact remains that the hate you give is the hate you will receive. Beware what you sow for one day you will reap it and you may not like what you have produced.
America’s complicity in fomenting uprisings, change of Governments and armed insurrection all over the world is well known. They do so in the name of democracy, human rights, freedom, liberty and equality.
Their actions over the years has resulted in the deaths and suffering of thousands, if not millions of people. It has impoverished nations and disrupted the lives of countless men, women and children.
The American people last week witnessed a mere glimpse into the hell their Government over the years have caused many nations. The chickens have now come home to roost.
“Make America Great again” was the slogan used by Trump. It was repeated over and over again. It was boldly displayed by most of those who stormed Capitol Hill. The question is: make America great again for whom?
White supremacists, far-right groups and so-called domestic terrorists have all over the last four years been the ones in the forefront of the use of the slogan ‘make America great again’ without rebuke or repudiation from Trump himself. So clearly America becoming great again was meant for a certain type of American.
Trump racist, xenophobic and hate policies are well known. All manifested in his promises and pledges to the American people as he campaigned and as he took the office of Presidency of the United States of America.
The fact that millions of Americans bought into that kind of dangerous rhetoric shows clearly where America is as a country. We in the Caribbean would do well to follow what is really going on over there. And I know we generally do.
What happened last Wednesday should not be a surprise to anyone with intellect and a knowledge of Trump. He is the personification of all that is wrong with America, since its inception, through slavery, racial inequality and today when people of colour, could still face recrimination and injustice.
America must now ask itself those difficult questions and have those extremely hard conversations. How is it in the 21st century can an individual such as Trump rise to highest office in the so-called greatest democracy on earth?
So many adages come to my mind but two stick out: ‘power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely’ and ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’
The democratic system allowed for the rise of Trump. It is the mechanism by which either good or evil people can come to power. The checks and balances must be there to prevent evil from taking root and gaining ground. If those checks are made powerless, immobilized or prefer to remain silent then evil will get the upper hand. Hate will triumph if love does not fight for its place.
America stood by for the last 4 years in either disgust or utter shock as Trump fired up his base and empowered groups of people with hate and contempt. It all exploded last week and lives were lost as a result.
The questions that abound are all relevant and appropriate. In the Blacks Lives Matter protest last year, why was there so much security and barriers as compared to basically none at this far-right and pro-Trump protest and rally?
How is it possible with so much security and intelligence no one knew this would happen? What took backup and reinforcements so long to quell these rioters and domestic terrorists?
Will the instigators, at the highest levels be charged with inciting people to violence, murder and mayhem?
America has proudly boasted of capturing those persons who they claim are responsible for terrorism and those who they allege incite acts of violence against others.
They have pressured foreign governments to hand over persons and they have picked up people from all parts of the world and brought them to the US for trial simply for knowing a terrorist or speaking about America’s crimes against humanity and supposedly inciting terrorism. Caribbean people have
not been exempt.
The very same Congress that was attacked last week has voted many times to pursue who America deems as terrorists and to go to war with countries they deemed as supporters of terrorism.
I do hope they apply their same forms of ‘justice’ to those involved in these acts of domestic terrorism against their very own. It is ironic that one those protestors killed in the Capitol building by police in Washington has been identified as Ashli Babbit, a 14-year-veteran who served four tours with USAF as a ‘high level security official.’
Moazzam Baig, a former inmate of Guantanamo Bay writes about her and her demise. “I don’t know for sure but she almost certainly was involved in bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia or Syria or took part in rendition or transportation of prisoners to Guantanamo and secret detention sites. Of course, none of that matters because she was serving her country.
In fact, even those who oppose Trump probably praise her service record and would otherwise have seen her as a true patriot because of it.
“Now that she’s been identified as part of an “insurrection” against the very nation she claimed to serve I wonder if anyone will question the machinery and system that sewed her path to violent confrontation. You know, sort of like they’ve done with the entire Muslim world for the past two decades.
“Meanwhile, let us remember the fallen air force veteran’s last words, tweeted a day before she bit the bullet: ‘Nothing will stop us….they can try and try and try but the storm is here and it is descending upon DC in less than 24 hours….dark to light!’”
The chickens are coming home to roost.
Suleiman Bulbulia is a Justice of the Peace; Secretary of the Barbados Muslim Association; Muslim Chaplain at the U.W.I, Cave Hill Campus and Chair, Barbados Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition. Email: [email protected]