I can’t do one of my usual happy-go-lucky blog posts today. So this will be more serious and less filled with pictures and graphics.
Okay, I lied. Here’s one image…
As someone who lives in the United States and was raised by two teachers (one was an American History and Government teacher for 39 years), the events of yesterday, January 6, 2021, at our Nation’s Capitol (riots that disrupted Congress from voting on the outcome of the electoral college vote for the US President) have caused me to really evaluate where our country is and where it’s going. It’s sobering that after hundreds of years of democracy one day can pull us to our knees. My Dad (the retired History and Government teacher) has been glued to the TV news. And I have learned over 4 years of experience that my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) brain can’t handle the constant turmoil and chaos of a 24-hour cable news cycle. So instead of watching TV with my parents I retreated (hid) in my bedroom and worked on my latest creative project (a children’s book starring Selby).
To say I am disheartened and dismayed is an understatement. I am an eternal optimist and will always have high hopes for myself and my country. 2020 was the year (ironically… optical humor for you) that everything started to come into focus. I have lived a life of privilege and opportunity afforded to me in part because of my race. And even though I think of myself as a sensitive and caring person, I honestly didn’t see the racial disparities as clearly as I should have. When the Black Lives Matter movement became a talking point this summer the country I thought I knew started to come into clearer focus. And then the election happened and I was still surprised there seemed to be such a division in this country. I shouldn’t have been surprised… but I was (I think it was my optimism that allowed me to still be surprised and shocked by the hate and division in our country).
Still, I was hopeful for progress and change. And then yesterday supporters of President Donald Trump bombarded the Nation’s Capitol building as Congress was gathering to vote on the electoral college results of the latest US Presidential election. Goaded by Trump at a rally that morning (there’s plenty of evidence to support this), the Trump supporters marched to the Capitol and stopped Congress from convening (Congress did reconvene later that night and confirmed that Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris won enough of the electoral votes to become president and vice president [respectively]).
Donald Trump has insisted that he didn’t lose this election and it was stolen from him. Serious allegations that he really doesn’t have concrete proof of. And yet he has been projecting his thoughts of election fraud to his millions of followers on social media and yesterday that proved to be dangerous. Facebook and Instagram have banned Trump “indefinitely” from their platforms (according to this Washington Post article). Snapchat and Twitter instituted temporary holds with threats to do more. Three tweets were removed from Trump’s account yesterday and they instituted a 12-hour ban/lock on his account. Twitter also stated that those 3 tweets needed to be removed from his account before the account was unlocked (read more about it here).
I had planned to post a book review today ironically of “Rage, ” by Bob Woodward (a recent book on the Trump presidency). My Dad and I both read it. He read it faster than I. I don’t plan to review the book now because I really don’t want to delve any deeper into the muck that is American politics right now. I always say that I try not to be political in this blog because I don’t want what I have to say about living with a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to be lost in politics and political opinions. However, I was treading on that line when I considered reviewing “Rage, ” and after this post, I hope to take one giant leap away from politics and focus back on writing my brain injury story yet I couldn’t help but reflect on the events of yesterday because they were and are so monumental.
I can’t help but shift back into my natural optimistic state as I conclude this reflection. I will always have high hopes for my country, countrymen and women, and myself and I don’t think that is a bad thing. Let optimism and hope guide us all into 2021 and through these troubling times.
A Selby Sweetie Conclusion
Truthfully, I thought of just posting a slew of Selby photos today (head to her Instagram @selbysweetie for that) to make myself and others happy. Instead, here’s just ONE picture of her when we were taking down our Christmas decorations.