The Day America Died! Part 2: American Coup
By H. J. Harris, author of “Solving The Race Issue In America.”
When I wrote part one of “The Day America Died,” I stated, “Things are taking place right now in our country that I thought could never happen in this land of the free and home of the brave.”
Then, on January 6, 2021, I watched a mob of the President’s supporters attack and occupy the United States Capitol. Capitol Hill police were unprepared and overwhelmed as the angry mob stormed the halls, offices, and chambers of the US Congress.
This violent group of the president’s supporters caused a halt to the constitutional process of certifying the Electoral College votes. They forced our legislators – in the Citadel of Democracy – to put on gas masks, run for cover, and evacuate the building – in the land of the free and home of the brave.
On January 6, 2021, this assault on the heart of the US government was a wake-up call for some, and a logical conclusion for others.
Is this the reality of our America?
The words of President Abraham Lincoln, dealing with the divisions of his time, ring true today: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
As we watched this siege of the US Capitol, many politicians and leaders expressed their shock and dismay at the events of January 6, 2021.
They should not be shocked. America should not be shocked.
Considering the events and divisions of the seven months since the murder of George Floyd, we should not be shocked.
Considering the events of the last twelve months since the start of the pandemic, we should not be shocked. Over 346,000 Americans have died – due to covid-19, incompetence, and political gamesmanship.
Considering the events of the last four years, when truth, integrity, civility, and decency are put on life support, we should not be shocked.
Considering the events of the last twelve years, since the election of President Barack Obama, we should not be shocked.
In 2008, with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, “take our country back” became the rallying call of a fringe segment of our citizens and our leaders.
Who had taken America? Was there a quiet revolution with America being taken over by persons of unknown origin?
“Take our country back” became the mantra of certain citizens and leaders. It became the marching orders of certain leaders who worked hard to undermine and obstruct President Obama’s agenda of hope and change. An agenda and vision that the American people had entrusted to him as president.
The uniqueness of the 2008 election was that America had elected a black man as President. When we examine the nasty way that President Obama was treated and depicted, it was clear that the cancer of racism, built into the fabric of America, was re-energized.
When we connect “take back our country” with the president’s mantra of “make America great again,” the last four years make total sense. We should not be shocked by the events of January 6, 2021. Certain leaders are afraid of the change in the demographics of America. This fear is reminiscent of another time in American history.
Is history repeating itself?
In our book, “Solving The Race Issue In America,” (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1890199079)we examine a turning point in the history of America after the bloody Civil War.
The “Coup of 1898” in Wilmington, North Carolina is often considered to be the only coup that has taken place on America soil. That was until the attempted coup of January 6, 2021.
There are striking similarities. In 1898, there were great divisions – especially racial – in North Carolina and throughout the South.
The white citizens of Wilmington North Carolina were fearful of the progress and advancement of black Americans during and after the reconstruction.
The coup of 1898 took place when the white citizens of Wilmington, NC took up arms against the lawfully elected government and the black citizens in particular.
As many black Americans in Wilmington were killed or run out of town, prominent white citizens of Wilmington prepared and signed the “White Declaration of Independence.”
This declaration, among other things provided: “We, the undersigned citizens of the city of Wilmington and county of New Hanover do hereby declare that we will no longer be ruled and will never again be ruled by men of African origin.”
The full “Declaration of White Independence” was printed – for the world to see and support – in the Raleigh News and Observer on November 10, 1898.
This Declaration of White Independence became the marching orders of white Americans who proceeded to institute racist, discriminatory, unfair, unjust Jim Crow laws. The coup of 1898 and the “Declaration of White Independence” initiated a coordinated effort to disenfranchise black Americans and economically shackle them throughout the South and to an extent – throughout the country.
Is the attempted coup of January 6, 2021 the present manifestation of the “White Declaration of Independence?”
Let us consider the racial divisions today created by our leaders: the systematic agenda of voter suppression, inequities in the justice system and healthcare. Many of the same issues of 1898 are happening today.
This seed that was planted in 1898 was cultivated, fertilized, and nurtured unchecked into more than 60 years of Jim Crow, voter suppression, discrimination, segregation, and injustice.
Today, in 2021, those same smoldering embers of racism and injustice are fanned by flawed leaders who refuse to accept the will of the American voters in their sacred demand for change.
These leaders and their enablers – for ambition, greed, or power – are willing to turn a blind eye to truth and justice and embrace and perpetrate untruths and lies that undermine the America democracy.
Only after the blood stained floor of the U.S. Capitol, the death of four individuals, and the injury of over fifty Capital Hill police officers, did some Senators and Representatives turn back from the precipice of anarchy
The question raised in Dr. Martin Luther King’s last book aptly describes the present: “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?”
America is a bitterly divided nation. This division is being stoked by certain leaders based on untruths, lies, and deception.
The mob that attacked the capitol represents a division among our citizens. The challenges to the confirmation of the Electoral College represent deep division among our leaders.
These divisions will not go away without a profound transformation of the American spirit.
This transformation is not one of laws, politics, economics, or power.
The transformation of America must be of the heart. It must be a mental and spiritual transformation based on the Biblical principles of acknowledgement, forgiveness, and atonement.
It must be based on the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln say it all: “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
As long as we as a nation run away from our history, the “chickens will come home to roost.”
The divisions that have been a part of this nation since its inception will continue to be a cancer on the soul of America.
Our children are watching. What example shall we give?
We have a choice. We as Americans can be the “better angles” that Abraham Lincoln described in his First Inaugural Address: we can follow the light and walk the talk so eloquently set forth by the founding fathers – “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Or we can continue in the darkness of bitter division and build our house upon the sands of lies, hypocrisy, injustice, and fear … and when the rains descend, and floods come, and the winds blow and beat upon the house that is America, it will fall, and great will be the fall of it.
Where is America? Did it fade into yesterday?
The answer America is not in our stars, but in ourselves.
© 2020 LifeSkill Institute, Inc., PO Box 302, Wilmington, NC 28402
Learn more about the upcoming BIG READ of “Solving The Race Issue In America” at www.solvingtheracissue.net
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