When Tamika Mallory told us to “Stand back and stand by” as MAGA supporters terrorized our nation’s capitol yesterday, she confirmed what we already knew: This is not our fight.
Interesting is too light a word to describe the ability of armed troopers to storm the Capitol building, vandalizing property as they went, without a slew of rubber bullets, tear gas, batons, tasers, or any of the other tactics used on Black Lives Matter protestors this past spring and summer being deployed. Odd too simplistic to describe the scene of police offers taking pictures with the domestic terrorists we’ve all agreed need to be described as “thugs” as they ambushed the building, smashing windows and even attacking other members of the force. Yesterday went exactly how Black folks knew it would go before we even knew it was happening. It’s how things always go when white privilege, rather than the law, remains king in a country founded on that very principle.
So what do we do about America America-ing in the exact way we’ve been trying to explain to America that it always has? We sit back and let white people fix the mess they created. We use humor to get through a painful moment in history that’s disappointing, but not surprising; unexpected yet completely on brand.
When Black people protest for our basic human rights, far too many sit back and simply watch, with plenty others telling us that if we just “followed the rules” we wouldn’t be gunned down in the streets, systemically incarcerated, or disproportionately unemployed. So the idea that when we play by the rules stacked against us and still come out on top, it’s simply too much for racists bigots to handle well, it’s, in a word, hilarious. And per usual, Twitter is the place we went to laugh and remind America this is who you’ve always been, girl.
Though there’s absolutely nothing funny about the unnecessary loss of life that occurred yesterday (so far four people have reportedly died), the idea that this behavior is uncharacteristic of our nation is laughable. And while Black people — and Black women in particular — have fixed plenty this election season, this is one time we collectively agreed we’re going to sit this one out and have a hearty laugh at America’s expense. And I, for one, believe our peace of mind is all the better for it. Scroll through to see some of the funniest takes on yesterday’s otherwise tragic unfolding.