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This is America

I woke up on January 6, 2021 very excited to hear where the Georgia run-off elections were going and ended the day totally distraught about the domestic terrorism that occurred at the Capitol.

I could not let today go by without talking about what happened yesterday on this blog.

White supremacists, Neo-Nazi’s, and the other terrorists who committed these atrocities not just at the Capitol, but also in other states. These attacks were not planned in secret or in hiding, there were no furtive meetings in backyards with everyone wearing balaclavas and using codenames. It was out there for everyone to see on Parler and Twitter and Facebook.

Four people died.

Only 50 people were arrested.

Update: 14 people were arrested according to the Capitol Police department website. Shows me for not going directly to the source. :/

Meanwhile, when I protested in Orlando during the racial justice uprisings last summer, the Orlando Police Department were armed, in riot gear, and ready and willing to disperse all the tear gas and sonic devices to subdue a mass of Black and Brown bodies protesting the over-policing of Black and Brown bodies.

I am a woman of color in a country that shows me that by demanding respect, equality, equity, and my due I am a danger to established systems and must be silenced.

I am a woman of color in a country that also tells me that there are places where my demands are met with understanding and acceptance.

The folks saying “This isn’t America!” are being willfully obtuse, of course this is America!

This is the America that built wealth and profit off of Black bodies and decimated Native populations.

This is the America that enshrined racism in the founding documents of the union.

This is the America that preferred to deal with problems with immigrants by muting their voices by force, with laws, via exclusions, and through any means possible except by not being racist. Only talking to those populations when given no other choice.

This is also the America that I grew up in.

The America that I gave birth to my beautiful daughters in.

The America where I met the most compassionate and beautiful warriors for equality, equity and growth.

We need our leaders to stop saying “This isn’t America” and instead say “This is America, but it needs to be better! This is how we’re going to do that.”

This feels like a rambling post, but I want to end by quoting James Baldwin because it is living in my head rent free since November 4.

I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

Forever standing in solidarity with you all.

Natalia Santana is a compliance professional by day, and an activist, student and parent...also by day. Interested in the intersection of activism and education, her joy in life is taking complicated concepts and distilling them into easy to understand Twitter rants. Favorite genres: science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction books.

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