They Look Like Me

Maureen MurdockUncategorized11 Comments

Speaking about the incredible failure by law enforcement in D. C. to prepare for and contain the mob rampage through the Capitol on January 6th, R. P. Eddy, a former American counterterrorism official and diplomat said, “There was a failure among law enforcement to imagine that people who ‘look like me’ would do this.”

Not only was there a failure of imagination by law enforcement that hordes of white men would smash, break and splinter windows and doors to get into the Capitol because they too were white, but there was a failure of will among citizens of this nation to hold Donald Trump accountable for all of his past cheating, falsehoods, grift, misogyny and racism. We have watched him for 5 years get away with crime after crime, destroying our democracy and we’ve thought well, it can’t get that bad.

Well, it has gotten that bad.

Hundreds of young and middle-aged white men came with guns, smoke bombs, zip ties and Confederate banners after having been whipped up into a frenzy by a President and his associates who said “it will be wild.” Yes, it was wild and 5 people are now dead. And there would have been many more dead if the marauders had been black or brown. For what? The plan they had was to overthrow a lawfully won Presidential election but they defamed the sacred chamber of our democracy. And we looked on in shock and awe.

Why do these white men feel they can do this with impunity, without accountability? There has been a culture of Anglo-Saxon machismo fostered by the NRA, product advertising (pick-up trucks, beer, sports) that has supported adolescent fantasies of power and white male supremacy so they take no responsibility for the consequences of their violence. They thought the invasion of the Capitol, defiling the building, taking vanity selfies, desecrating Nancy Pelosi’s office, and chanting “Hang Mike Pence” was a lark.

The chant, “Hang Mike Pence,” is a direct descendant of “Lock Her Up” started by Trump before he took office. Anyone with a different point of view becomes the enemy. This unrestrained toxic masculinity is incapable of rationality, decency and democracy.

We must put an end to it now.

11 Comments on “They Look Like Me”

  1. Amen,Maureen .Everything you said was spot on the truth.It is all so awful,none of us know what we can do.We will keep reading your excellent blog and pray for better times.I really miss seeing you.

  2. Thank you for this thoughtful and incisive analysis on white privilege that has accompanied the insurrection at the Capitol. Today’s vote to impeach Trump again provides some hope that this perpetrator of abuses of power of all kinds (including racial and sexual) will not be able to run for president again. However, the fact that so many Republicans STILL supported Trump reinforces the deep divides in our country. I don’t need to repeat here the outrages. What disturbs me is that these Republican leaders are so greedy for power that they will negate reality–as in the fact that Trump lost, lost!–in order to maintain their grip on the truth-forsaken Trump voters whose support they still want. It sickens me.

  3. BTW: From the New Yorker:
    The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention, which was restructured and renamed in 2019, is dedicated to investigating extremism and domestic terrorism. Between 2017 and 2019, its operating budget was cut from twenty-one million dollars to less than three million, and the number of its full-time employees dwindled from forty to fewer than ten.

  4. Yes, Maureen, to all you have said.
    I have to admit I was one of those thinking “they”, the Q-anon followers, the white nationalists, the haters and domestic terrorists were in “fringe” category. I was and am so wrong. Doctors, military and police officers, members of Congress, teachers, professors, the educated and the uneducated, the monied, the unmonied, florists, nurses, fathers, mothers, grandparents…
    We have to out number them. Them.

  5. Very well said. It has to be stopped, and it will probably be women who will stop it. Not a suprise that the Republican politicians who have stood up and spoken out against Trump (Liz Cheney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins) are women, while the men (Cruz, Hawley, Jordan) persist in the disinformation fantasies spun by Trump.

  6. Amen. Well said, Maureen. I agree, we have to stand up to this psychosis of untruths, distorted realities and one-sided black/white, either/or, only my way attitudes and complexes on a rampage in the American psyche.

  7. Yes, I agree with your point of view Maureen. These guys were full of testosterone and macho man mentality. It reminded me of Castro’s revolts with no respect for anything or anybody. It brought all back to me, waking up one morning at my grandparents’s house, invaded by armed milicianos, who proceeded to take over the house and forced my grandmother to cook and clean for them at gun point. This is the same mentality of brutality and violence we saw last week. This first time, in the fifty years I’d have lived in this country that I am truly scared to be a brown skin woman with an accent. I feel deeply sadden to see the america I love and that opened her arms to me and my family as refuges, crumble. I am experiencing the same terror I once felt as a child as I witnessed the killing of innocent people. Can I survive one more time? where can I escape this time? There many white Americans, who are in denial of the danger we are all in at the hands of these soulless creatures. I hope they wake up before is too late!

    1. Oh Flor, I am so sorry you are re-living the trauma you experienced in Cuba. What an image–to see your grandmother forced at gun point to cook and clean for the milicianos. I hope you can convince the exiles who live in Cuba that Trump is no better than Castro.

  8. Absolutely! From Canada we watched with horror at what transpired in the Capitol altho it wasn’t altogether a surprise. We had watched Trump being tolerated and maintained as President for years despite the display of his ignorance, racism, sexism and complete lack of empathy for anyone. I hope he can be completely deleted from office and, one hopes, ultimately from history!!

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