Two Spirits Stormed the U.S. Capital: We decide which to nurture
It’s been a week since the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capital and it still feels like the bad dream that we knew was coming. Failure to systemically act on the warnings from social justice prophets like Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Edward Said, Dolores Huerta, Yuri Kochiyama, Rabbi Joshua Heschel, Leonard Peltier and others continued to hollow out the soul of our nation. From this empty place two spiritual forces formed: solidarity movements for social justice and vigilante movements of White supremacy and conspiracy.
Both stormed the U.S. Capital. Each with a different approach.
Movements for social justice strategized to elect a new breed of freedom fighters into governmental seats at the local, regional, and national level. These new politicians arrived to Washington unapologetically embodying “freedom for all” in their spirit. Joining them, the once covert White supremacy and vigilante movements seized the moment to debut the spirit of “mass deception and hate” worn by our friends, neighbors, police, and other officials.
On January 6, 2021, on the Christian holiday of Epiphany, we ironically witnessed the horrifying truth that United States could no longer avoid: our fight for freedom is a spiritual battle.
As Sun Tzu pointed out in the Art of War, battles are won from the inside-out. They require you to use your power and choice at every moment. It requires you to trust yourself and believe that you have the power to succeed. As we continue to reflect on the nationally televised terroristic trauma, every member of the United States faces a key choice-point:
which spirit will you nurture? Will you feed “freedom for all” or “mass deception and hate”?
Our answer to that question determines if
We the People of the United States, will form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity
If the people feed “mass deception and hate”
Simply put, the grand experiment of the US democracy is doomed. Many prophets of justice warned of this impending doom if the United States failed to systemically deal with racism, White Supremacy, mass deception and the growing vigilantism permeating all levels of society. Yet the calls were ignored and “freedom for all” smothered. The prophets were killed, jailed, silenced, exiled, or some co-opted by money and false seats at table. Resolved to preserve a disUnited States of America, emerged a mass movement of deception and hate led by corrupt government officials, White supremacists, colluding marginalized persons, billionaire CEOs, cooperative educational officials and others. All in the name of “Making America Great Again.”
But before we blame everything on Trumpism, let’s trace this bloodline back to the real culprit: the emergence of Reaganism in the 1980s.
To become great required ushering in deeper levels of racism, sexism, xenophobia, classism, Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism and imperialism. It meant using “any means necessary” to minimize the truth and elevate deception. It meant creating a culture of hate by pitting marginalized peoples and beneficiaries of bias against one another. It meant bullying family, friends, and colleagues to maintain the status quo of oppression or risk being outcasted and dismissed. It meant electing officials to uphold inequities while offering crumbs of social change. It meant perpetuating a false choice between human rights and individual rights. Over time, this sickening spirit eased its way to dominate various facets of our lives: the media, education, government, internet, courts, business, healthcare, housing, and our communities. Every time a person uses their power and choice to uphold deception and hate, this spirit grows stronger.
We must ask if all the evidence points towards its toxicity, then why have 75 million people chosen to live with it? Loss is hard. Dealing with the truth is too painful. Many would rather live in facades of false realities rather than deal with the facts: the US is changing, corruption sold them out, and the “freedom for all” spirit is here to stay. The outcome is clear, if people continue to stay deceived, then more dark days await us.
If the people feed “freedom for all”
We bring much needed vindication to the prophetic forefathers and foremothers that laid down their lives in pursuit of ending deception, hate, and injustice. The current calls to end the hypocrisy, treat everyone fair and equitable, dismantle White Supremacy, and cease domestic and global imperialism would render an end to oppression. We would unleash shared positional power across all aspects of society. We’d courageously use our individual power and choice to build multi-stakeholder coalitions to design a socially just society where all members have full and equal participation to benefit from the plethora of resources in the United States. Interracial and intercultural solidarity movements would gain enough momentum to genuinely convert those previously resistant to justice-based social change. The halls of every local, state, national government would represent the beautiful diversity of our country.
We would no longer need to say “first Jewish Senator, first Black American Superintendent, first Indigenous news anchor, or first Arab American President” because diversity, inclusion, and equity would become a norm across all positions in society.
Speaking truth and holding everyone accountable for their choices would become the norm. Meaning it doesn’t matter whether you are White, Black, or Asian, if you fail to deliver on your promises to serve all people with freedom and justice, you will be removed from office, asked to step down from your company role, and denied a contract renewal in education. This can only happen if every person chooses to become a warrior of truth and love by feeding the spirit of “freedom for all.” Collectively, we must nurture the courageous spirit to exercise conscious leadership for equity. We must disrupt, dismantle, and rebuild for social justice in EVERY sphere of our lives: at work, home, and in our communities. At every moment, we must resist smothering progress by colluding with systems that promote inequity and the status quo.
I remain hopeful that we can bring light into our present dark moment. Collectively, we can build on the current equity work occurring across all levels of society by feeding the “freedom for all” spirit. I believe we can create a genuine mass conversion for justice by trusting ourselves to use our power and choice to be the change that we wish to see.
The Choice is Yours
Which spirit will you nurture: “freedom for all” or “mass deception and hate”? The future of our collective humanity depends on your answer.