By Carole Copeland Thomas
Five international holidays converge on the scene every December (and early January) to make our schedules hectic, exciting, and pressure-filled. Wrapping gifts while shopping at odd hours of the night either pushes us into the spirit of happiness OR helps us find an escape path until all of the celebrations are over.
Here are related links to five holidays with religious and nonreligious implications. You'll learn interesting facts and figures that will make you scratch your head in amazement. The marathon includes Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. Learn new traditions and pass them on as the merriment continues throughout the holiday season.
May you celebrate the Season and get ready for an awe-inspiring 2023!
-Carole Copeland Thomas
Links and Resources For The Five Holidays
2 Winter Solstice
Parenting Article Written For Kids
History of the Christmas Tree
5 Three Kings Day
What Is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, which is celebrated annually, is an important holiday in the Black community. The day has become the most prominent Emancipation Day holiday in the United States and commemorates the moment when emancipation finally reached those in the deepest parts of the former Confederacy on June 19, 1865. It is a holiday meant for celebration rather than mourning and remembrance.
Juneteenth is not just a Black holiday. It is an American holiday. The day signals America finally realizing our founding principles of "liberty and justice for all." Slavery is a dark stain on US history, but Juneteenth is an example that America can move past the transgressions of history in the pursuit of a freer society.
Juneteenth became a state holiday in Texas in 1980, and a number of other states subsequently followed suit. In 2021 Juneteenth was made a federal holiday. The day is also celebrated outside the United States, being used by organizations in a number of countries to recognize the end of slavery and to honor the culture and achievements of African Americans.
The word is a combination of the month of June and the 19th, the exact day when Major General Gordon Granger marched into Galveston, Texas with 7000 "colored troops" and read General Order Number 3 announcing the end of the Civil War and Slavery. The war had actually ended two months earlier, and the slaves in the region had actually been freed 2.5 years earlier, but their slave masters had NOT set them free. After reading the order, it was posted on the door of Reedy Chapter AME Church in Galveston.
JUNETEENTH: BLACK PRIDE OR PERIL?
JUNE 3, 2022
Invite a Friend or Colleague to this two-hour event. It will be worth every minute as you hear from subject-matter experts on issues impacting the Black community AND Beyond!
Register and Join Us for This Free Live Webinar And Learn More About The Legacy of Juneteenth As We Wrestle With The 2nd Anniversary of George Floyd's Death & Now The Tragedy of The Buffalo Massacre
The event is a multigenerational, multimedia virtual program designed to inspire and engage each attendee to understand why Juneteenth is considered the second Independence Day in American History.
CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW FOR COMPLETE DETAILS.
After 232 years and 115 prior appointments, President Joe Biden stuck to his campaign promise and identified the right woman for the top job. He promised to appoint a Black woman to the US Supreme Court at his first opportunity. When Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement on the Bench earlier this year, President Biden sprang into action with his nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, the US Court of Appeals judge with a stellar track record of judicial balance and even-handedness.
And despite a contentious Senate hearing process, Jackson was confirmed on April 8, 2022 by a Senate vote of 53-47, with three Republicans voting for Justice Jackson (Mitt Romney-Utah, Susan Collins-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski-Alaska). Vice President Kamala Harris read the results as the Senate Chamber burst into thunderous applause. A historic Supreme Court confirmation of a Black woman from Florida was announced by the first Black woman Vice President of the United States.
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will serve a lifetime term in the Court and will start her service as soon as Justice Breyer retires, most likely sometime in June.
With such an outstanding series of events, here is why every Black woman can relate to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson:
1 She's Grounded.
Justice Jackson will have served as a sitting Judge longer than most of the other Justices. She's been a sitting judge for nearly ten years, with no trouble in getting confirmed for her other federal appointments. She also sets the record for having served as a public defender, and she clerked for Justice Breyer early in her career. She knows the law and has been praised for her ability to look at issues from both sides of the spectrum.
Black women know that often we have to be twice or three times as prepared to qualify to get the job.
2 She's Well Educated
Her mother was an educator, and her father was a lawyer. She graduated at the top of her class at Miami Palmetto Senior High School and was admitted to Harvard University in spite of a non-visionary guidance counselor advising her to lower her educational expectations.
Black women are used to being "dumbed down" by guidance counselors who don't see their brilliance. Not the first time, nor the last, that a counselor gave bad advice to a top Black student.
Justice Jackson would graduate from Harvard College (1992) and Harvard Law School (1996) with flying colors.
I wonder how many other students of color suffered through the low expectations of a high school guidance counselor. Too many…far too many.
3 She's Unmoved By Political Hacks Like Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn
I had MUCH to say after reacting to the ridiculous and racially motivated Senate hearing questions by Ted Cruz and Marsha Blackburn. Some of my words can't be put in print because of the vile contempt I have for Cruz and Blackburn. Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley round out the quartet of Trump sycophants who have sold their souls to the devil. While I wanted to throw my television down a flight of steps because of the questioning of Justice Jackson's judicial record, she remained unmoved.
When Senator Blackburn asked Brown-Jackson to "define a woman," Justice Jackson looked mildly puzzled and artfully skipped over the trap that lay before her. Blackburn, in later comments, referred to Jackson in terms of being the recipient of "dark money Leftist groups" and "pushing the agenda of woke education" as she explained why she felt Justice Jackson was unqualified for the job.
That's when I wanted to throw my television down the steps in protest of this right-wing racist woman who can't imagine a dark-skinned Black woman serving on the Supreme Court.
I reacted in front of my television set. Justice Jackson, who had prepared for the brutality of the Republican Senators, remained unmoved. She was rewarded when Romney, Collins, and Murkowski joined the Democrats to vote for this brilliant woman of action.
Black women understand the resilience and emotional constraint it took for Justice Jackson to remain unmoved when the Senate attacks mounted.
4 She's Visionary
Three of her Harvard roommates and good friends were interviewed on national television about their college and law school days with Justice Jackson. Attorney Antoinette Coakley, who is one of my friends and church members here in Boston said, "It was very clear from the first time that we met her that it was special. I remember telling her when we were in the dorm, 'You are going to be the first black woman on the US Supreme Court.'"
Justice Jackson was a brilliant debater in high school. While Fox News' Tucker Carlson was asking about Justice Jackson's LSAT scores (law school entrance test scores), her high school classmate, Stephen Rosenthal, told news reporters about the numerous medals she won from the debate team victories.
Justice Jackson knew from an early age that law was her profession and nothing deterred her from fulfilling her dream of success. She was supported by loving parents and guided by trusted hands throughout her college and law school courses. Her vision translated to the historic confirmation despite senators who wanted to squash her dreams.
Black women know that vision often turns into reality when you believe in yourself.
5 She's All In
The vitriol spewed out by small-minded politicians was washed away by the triumphant speech by Senator Cory Booker. He elevated the moment to its rightful, historic place when he showered Justice Jackson with praise and adoration. On March 25th, he said the following:
"I'm telling you right now, I'm not letting anybody in the Senate steal my joy! I am embarrassed... I'm just looking at you, and I'm starting to get full of emotion. You didn't get here because of some left-wing agenda. You didn't get here because of some dark money groups. You got here how every Black woman in America (who) has gotten anywhere has done...by being like Ginger Rogers said, "I did everything Fred Astaire did but backwards in heels.'
That star was a harbinger of hope. Today you are my star!"
That 19-minute speech by Senator Booker will go down as one of the greatest speeches by any senator. It proved that Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is an "All In" woman of integrity who represents the BEST in Black America.
Every Black woman gave Senator Booker and a virtual standing ovation for his unwavering support of Judge Jackson. She's All In because of the love of her husband, Dr. Patrick Jackson, and her daughters, Talia and Leila. Her parents, Johnny and Ellery Brown, married for more than 54 years, solidly stand by her. So does her younger brother Attorney Ketajh Brown.
Black women know that Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson is All In because she's prepared to preside in the US Supreme Court as the harbinger of hope for us all.
The time is now, and this country is the better because of Black women like Ketanji Brown Jackson. She may be the first but certainly won't be the last. We salute her courage under fire for a job well done!
By Carole Copeland Thomas
My late mother lived up to her profession as an educator by making sure I knew about the world, my family, and my ethnicity. “You have a heritage,” she repeatedly said to me from childhood until I was a grown woman with children of my own. And a moment wouldn’t pass without Gwendolyn Charleston Copeland making sure that I honored my heritage by respecting myself, my family, and those in my community.
As annoying as it may have been to endure that cultural education from my mother, I would soon realize that she was also fortifying my Blackness from the discrimination I was bound to face in my lifetime. Her lessons, stories, and patient leadership helped me to endure the worst, ignore petty trivialities, value significant moments, and confront injustice on every occasion.
My mother’s teachings helped me to become a proud African American woman. I have never been confused about my ethnicity, my family, and certainly not my heritage. And being an African American has empowered me to pursue opportunities with excitement and enthusiasm, even if layers of discrimination are littered along the way.
Much of my 34 years as a business owner and diversity professional have been spent helping organizations to build better cross-cultural bridges of mutual understanding. I have traveled all over America and to several other countries using that framework with my work. I speak on topics other than global diversity and multiculturalism, including leadership, empowerment, and relationship enhancement.
I also have memberships in several civic and professional organizations and have served in several leadership roles throughout the years. Last week I was asked to deliver a workshop on the importance of accountability, relationships, and reputation to one of the organizations I have enjoyed membership in for many years.
I prepared for the session several days before the event and made a point that my slide deck was racially neutral, inclusive, informative, and educational. The session kicked off on Zoom, and the exchange of information fueled an active dialogue with some 25 participants eager to learn. I was the final speaker in the organization’s six-week summer series, and it felt good to contribute in such a meaningful way.
Near the end of the program, as the breakout room facilitators were sharing the comments from their small groups, one voice blurted out the N-word, loud enough for everyone to hear.
I was the only Black person in attendance, and the word pierced my level of concentration so loudly that you would think I had been hit with a virtual shotgun straight between the eyes.
Early on in the program, I had been made a co-host. I frantically worked to mute the assailant, to no avail. I could not mute him. Finally, seconds later, the chapter president removed the hate-filled person from the Zoom meeting. I looked at the stunned faces of my colleagues on the screen and knew I had to speak up and speak out about what had just happened. My voice was unwavering, and I told the group that I needed to address the “elephant in the room” as we processed what had just happened. I remained calm and told the group the outburst was merely a validation of why my diversity work was so important in our society. Racism was alive and well, and we had just witnessed the ugliness of its actions.
The chapter president and her board activated swiftly. As the Zoom host, she was also unable to mute the participant but was able to quickly remove him from the session. She apologized profusely, denounced his action, and send a letter to the workshop attendees banning his membership in our organization for life. The chapter also offered to make a contribution in my name to the nonprofit of my choice. They said NO to the N-word and NO to hate.
The chapter president did reach out to the N-word assailant. He was a non-member and had attended the previous five sessions, so he wasn’t your typical hit-and-run Zoom bomber. He offered no remorse, stated that he blurted out the word when his mobile phone discharged and never apologized.
I realized at that moment three things:
1. This is why my mother worked so hard to teach me about my heritage.
2. Some people will never accept my Blackness.
3. To some, using the N-word on Black people is a way to devalue their humanity.
My reaction to these three truths include the following:
1. My mother’s wisdom lives defiantly in my spirit. That includes the messages of my father, brother, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and ancestors who came before me.
2. Ignorance and hatred fuel racism, and those who can’t accept Black people, especially in leadership positions, are a hindrance to the growth of America.
3. You can’t take away my Blackness, and you’ll NEVER devalue my humanity!
That Zoom workshop was the third time in my life I recall being called the N-word. Sadly, I know it won’t be the last. However, I know that Gwen Copeland lives on in my spirit, and my work will live on.
Racism will not stop our need to build new bridges of cultural understanding throughout our country and beyond. My Blackness has been fortified, and when the next N-word comes my way, I’ll be ready with the right response and call to action.
Bring it on! You can’t stop my work, my dedication, or my determination to bring cultural change to our country!
Bring it on!!
By Carole Copeland Thomas
Summer is in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, and with a pandemic still in play, friends and families are figuring out ways to enjoy the sunshine while they can. Keep your mask at close range and celebrate the temporary as much as you can.
I enjoyed seeing my grandchildren after a 16-month absence, and it felt so good to have them in my arms. I visited my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters during the Juneteenth Weekend. I was a proud mom and grandmother when my daughter and older granddaughter delivered a stellar Mother-Daughter Juneteenth keynote address for their hometown, West Hartford, Connecticut. While the 13-year-old was practicing with her mother, the 10-year-old was preparing a delicious breakfast for the family! (Yes, she can cook from scratch all by herself!!) She made sure to save her father some pastries she prepared while he went to play in his semi-pro baseball team’s weekly game. My other daughter came with me and entertained her nieces all weekend long.
Family and Friends during the summer months equals fun time.
So as we say goodbye to this year’s July 4th celebrations here in America, let’s look at when other countries celebrate Independence Day throughout the year.
From my home to yours, have a great summer or winter, depending on your hemisphere!
INDEPENDENCE DAY IN 40 COUNTRIES
There is a long and deep history with all of these countries. Some have both Republic Day and Independence Day. Some countries, like Canada and Egypt, don’t have an Independence Day.
Why not pick five countries this month and learn more about why these dates are important to the people and the cultures of their sovereign land.
July 5, 1962
November 11, 1975
May 28, 1918 Republic Day
September 21, 1991 Independence Day
October 26, 1955
November 30, 1966
August 6, 1825
September 7, 1822
July 5, 1975
October 28, 1918 Independence Day
January 1, 1993 Restoration Day
November 3, 1978
eSwantini (Formerly known as Swaziland)
September 6, 1968 Somhlolo Day
October 19, 1970
March 6, 1957
January 1, 1804
September 15, 1821
August 15, 1947 (Independence Day)
January 26, 1950 (Republic Day)
April 24, 1916
August 6, 1962
December 12, 1963
August 31, 1991
November 22, 1943
July 26, 1847
September 15-16, 1810
December 29, 1911
July 26, 1581
August 14, 1947
June 12, 1898
November 11, 1918
December 1, 1640
St Kitts and Nevis
September 19, 1983
September 23, 1932
July 9, 2011
October 12, 1492 National Day
August 1, 1291
October 1, 1978
October 9, 1962
July 4, 1776
July 5, 1811
Septemer 2, 1945
April 18, 1980
It was the international collaboration that made the difference. And the spirit of cooperation that keeps us moving forward. From the bottom of a grateful heart, I say THANK YOU to everyone who made our inaugural US UK Summit on RACE a complete success. The buzz continues bubbling over from our May 22nd virtual endeavor, and the new opportunities for growth and development are emerging with exciting speed and enthusiasm.
To date, more than 250 people from ten countries have participated or watched the US UK Summit on Race. New relationships have formed, and burning questions discussed and explored as a direct result of the Summit.
Words can only express my deep appreciation for every speaker who delivered a heartfelt and deeply reflective presentation on the issues.
Detective Larry Ellison - US
Leila McKenzie-Delis - UK
Professor Martin Levermore - UK
Former Minnesota State Senator Jeff Hayden - US
Rev. Dr. Karla Cooper - US
Diana Wong, Ph.D. - US
Her Excellency Dr. Justina Mutale - UK
Professor Geoff Thompson, MBE. FRSA, DL - UK
We didn’t just hear our fabulous speakers, then pack up and end the Summit. We dug deeper with our Breakout Sessions that were moderated by 11 amazing Facilitators who teased out perspectives rarely discussed between advocates in the US and the UK.
Sophia Khan - US
Jennifer Perkins - US
Cris Ajemian - US
Dr. Lorna Thomas Farquharson - US
Mesha Mott - US
Tracey Gore - UK
Valton Henderson - US
Francisco Carrasco - UK
Julayne Lee - US
Joseph Mukungu - UK
Carol Ann Whitehead - UK
I worked with three amazing professionals to launch the US UK Summit on Race. Our weekly meetings and endless emails have created a solid collaboration, discussing the issues, identifying relevant topics, and inviting experienced professionals to help create both the content and the resources in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
Denise Gray Felder, Greater New York.
President of the Communication for Social Change Consortium
Garth Dallas, Liverpool, England, Attorney, Diversity Professional, and Anti-Racism expert on racial issues in the United Kingdom
William (Bill) Wells, Jr., Minneapolis, Minnesota, Past Chair, National Black MBA Association, Diversity Professional. Bill is actively involved with Minneapolis civic and business leaders responding to George Floyd’s death.
You can read all about the Speaker-Panelists here:
You can read all about the Facilitators here:
You can read all about the Organizers here:
Volunteers make our events run smoothly. Special THANKS to Michelle Thomas-Monteiro and Denise Willis Turner for all of the “backstage” behind the scenes support they gave to us on May 22nd, as they have given in so many previous events I have produced.
The Summit recordings will post later in June.
The next TWO Summits are scheduled for:
Thursday, August 19, 2021 - Small Group Discussions with a special spotlight on youth perspectives on Race
Saturday , October 2, 2021 - Another full US UK Summit on Race with a salute to Black History Month in the United Kingdom.
The best is yet to come. Thanks to everyone who made our inaugural event a roaring success. We have only just begun!
What Is Race?
By Carole Copeland Thomas
Here’s a simple definition of race.
Race represents each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics or a group of people sharing the same culture, history, or language, such as an ethnic group.
Historically we have looked at three races in mankind:
Caucasoid the White race
Negroid or the Black race and
Mongoloid or the Yellow/Asian race
Now I’m fully aware that the terminology is dated, and there may be other classifications used in our modern times. But typically, these are the three main groups referred to as racial groups. White, Black, and Asian.
Most important to remember is race is NOT biological.
It is a social construct.
The political and economic realities of race were largely generated through the explorations of Christopher Columbus, other European voyagers, and the ultimate colonization of the Americas. By the 1700s, when the African slave trade overshadowed indentured servitude, race clearly took on what is now known as a social construct.
To explore it further, Purdue University’s Carol Bainbridge describes it this way: A social construct is something that exists not in objective reality but as a result of human interaction. It exists because humans agree that it exists.
So the concept of race, with no biological baseline, has driven our thinking and our actions for centuries.
The question we face is how far in the future will we allow the whole concept of racial groups to direct our path of mutual interactive collaboration?
I’ll leave the question for you to wrestle with until our May 22nd US UK Summit on Race. We will talk about this extensively during our event that is free and open to the public worldwide.
Register and learn more below.
by Carole Copeland Thomas
I am so excited about what's in store for our upcoming May 22nd US UK Summit on Race. You will have a DIRECT opportunity to talk to global diversity, equity, and inclusion friends in the United States and The United Kingdom. We'll have subject matter experts drilling down into how Race has affected our communities and workplaces from a personal and professional perspective. You'll learn new cultural nuances while sharing your opinions on this critically important topic. And if you just want to sit back, listen, and learn, then go right ahead. This event is for you, too.
And this isn't a "one and done." The US UK Summit on Race is part of the ongoing Series of the Multicultural Symposium Series. This time we're advancing the conversation on RACE, with more events and activities planned beyond May 22nd launch date.
I am also excited because I am collaborating with three friends I have known for many years. Two are from the US. One is from the UK. All are subject matter experts with global backgrounds but local connections.
Denise Gray Felder, Greater New York.
President and CEO, Communication For Social Change Consortium
Garth Dallas, Liverpool, England, Attorney, Diversity Professional, and Anti-Racism expert on racial issues in the United Kingdom
William (Bill) Wells, Jr., Minneapolis, Minnesota, Past Chair, National Black MBA Association, Diversity Professional. Bill is actively involved with Minneapolis civic and business leaders responding to George Floyd's death.
The event is FREE and open to the general public worldwide. Share this with your friends and colleagues and join in the conversation.
Join us on Saturday, May 22nd, for a Summit guaranteed to expand your horizon on Race and its impact on the world.
You can read their complete biographies by clicking the link below.
Register For The Summit on the link below.
By Carole Copeland Thomas
George Floyd would have been an ordinary statistic, so common an action that you wouldn't have paid him a second notice. He was the latest Black man in 2020 caught in a police trap with no exit. A misdemeanor allegation. A $20 fake bill. An apprehensive but somewhat cooperative suspect.
It was, after all, Memorial Day, and who should let their guard down on that auspicious holiday? It was Minneapolis, the land of the "Minnesota Nice," where racial confrontations are often not discussed in polite company.
"I Can't Breathe!"
Everyone knows what happened, how it happened, and the impact of what happened around the world. One black man pinned to a city street by the knee of a rogue police officer who listened to no-one. When George Floyd called out to his deceased mother, Officer Derek Chauvin refused to release the suspect. He kept pressing on Floyd's neck for nearly ten minutes. When George Floyd cried out, "I Can't Breathe!!" Chauvin used his white male police privilege and resolutely anchored his hold. Even the three police officers on hand did nothing to ease the tragedy. They were accomplices in a statistical murder that mattered little to them.
But it did matter to Darnella Fraizer. She was 17 years old on that day, with no photographic, videographer, or police training. A mere high school kid with a conscience bigger than Derek Chauvin or the three police goons put together. She simply took out her phone, clicked over to the video option, and pressed play. Her 9-year-old cousin, Judeah Reynolds, faithfully stood by and witnessed a police officer murdering a Black man. Darnella kept filming, Judeah gave moral support, and other witnesses did their part to dissuade the rogue cop from finishing off an unarmed Black man.
Darnella unknowingly was serving a higher purpose. She said, "When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. It's been nights I've stayed up apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more and not physically interacting and not saving his life. It's not what I should have done; it's what he should have done."
Baby cousin Judeah said, "I was sad and kind of mad, and it felt like it was stopping his breathing and it was hurting him. "
A 17 year old and a 9 year old. Offering more grace under fire than wealthy patrons with trunks filled with academic degrees.
These children had GUTS. They were BRAVE. They had COURAGE.
The rogue cops threatened to spray mace in their faces to deter the courage and bravery they demonstrated. Other bystanders, including two other 17-year-olds, Alyssa Funari and Karlynn Gilbert, testified in court and bore their truth of what they saw that day. Yes, there were adults who also testified for the Prosecution, articulating the helplessness they felt as they pleaded for the rogue cop to take his knee off of George Floyd's neck.
Charles McMillian, age 61, was most compassionate, encouraging George Floyd to corporate with the police; yet he also witnessed a hateful and racist cop killing a Black man over a $20 bill. When I watched McMillian break down and cry during his court testimony, tears flowed down my face as I struggled to ask the question, "Why?"
The conviction of Officer Derek Chauvin represented a well-orchestrated trial where the testimonies and video footage of children were principal components of the Prosecution's evidence. The Defense's arguments were pathetically weak, heavily relying on the hypothesis that the preexisting medical-drug history of George Floyd was the cause of death.
And in less than 12 hours, the diverse jury of nine set the record straight.
They believed the CHILDREN.
Yes, the sentencing will take place in the next eight weeks, and Derek Chauvin's legal team will undoubtedly press for an appeal. It won't work. Chauvin will serve some time in jail for his arrogance, hatred, and racism. His police goon squad of three will probably get jail time after their trial is held in August.
The Police Killings Continue
In the midst of nationwide celebrations of the Chauvin's conviction, there is still so much work to do. The US Justice Department is now investigating the operational practices of the Minneapolis Police Department. And as I write this commentary, three more police "shoot to kill" cases have sprung up in Columbus, Ohio, Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and Knoxville, Tennessee.
This is out of control and MUST be stopped. Our nation MUST recalibrate our police departments so that punishment meets the crime regardless of race or ethnicity.
George Floyd would have been proud of the young and old bystanders who defended his dignity. They could not save his life, but they saved his legacy. I pay tribute to Darnella and Judeah in particular because they did not RUN in the face of danger. One took out her cell phone as a proud citizen journalist. And the other backed up her older cousin and cried out as any good 9-year-old advocate would do.
They would make ANY mother proud. I celebrate their wisdom and their action.
Saving George Floyd
Yes, young people SAVED George Floyd. They couldn't save his life, but they saved his humanity and made it impossible for us to look away or turn back to the old way of thinking. For our young people armed with cell phone cameras, hopes, and dreams, we have to recalibrate our police departments across the country and examine the countless other ways to affirm the Black Lives Matter signs with policies and practices that give Black and Brown people the decency they deserve.
ARREST THEM ALL!
By Carole Copeland Thomas
The presidential election results had resulted in explosive consequences for the entire country. I was frantic for an endless amount of time. The minutes turned into hours, and the waiting period produced anxiety and a constant stream of prayer. News reports were sketchy at first, and then the images seared on my brain. The presidential election results angered some citizens who revolted and escalated their violence. And with each passing news report, I became more anxious. When would it end? How many would be injured? How many would be killed?
Finally, I heard from him after much anxiety. He was fine. His mother was safe. One of his sisters had been moved out of the country for safety.
During this awful time, the young man I was concerned about was my adopted Kenyan son, Naftal Mwangi Kiambo of Mombasa, Kenya. Sandra Jackson Jenkins and I had “adopted” him and paid for his high school fees following our 2005 trip to Kenya with eight other black women. Kenya’s contentious presidential elections of 2007 resulted in a rash of violent attacks on opposing political sides that killed over 1300 people. And even though Naftal and his family were unharmed, many people bore the brunt of the angry mobs who took their rage out on the innocent.
That incident is what I thought about when I called my niece on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 and told her to turn on her television set to the news channel and stay inside her home in Washington DC. She didn’t know what I was talking about because she was working at home and didn’t realize the angry mob was ascending the steps of the US Capitol.
A LinkedIn colleague of mine told me that her Washington, DC niece had to be evacuated from her home because of a bomb threat. I then posted on my social media pages that my friends and colleagues needed to check with relatives and friends in Washington, DC, urging them to stay home and not to venture near the US Capitol.
The attempted American coup had begun. In the most evil manner, sedition was activated when Donald J. Trump instructed THOUSANDS of white supremacists, Proud Boys, anti-government thugs, and the rest of the hardcore Trump supporters to march on the Capitol in defiance of the presidential election results.
This was NO different from 2007 Kenya. Just different circumstances, different candidates, and a lower death count. Five people dead this week, including one Capitol police officer hit over the head by one of the anarchists with either a fire extinguisher or a lead pipe. One Trump supporter with a military background can be seen on the window panes of the congressional chamber trying to break in. Police shot and killed her.
I have watched the replays of this destruction and carnage for the past two days in anger and horror. I guess trying to kill Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last October wasn’t big enough. The same thugs decided to bring their Trump-inspired hatred to Washington, denounce the election results, and threaten to kill Vice President Pence, who refused to go along with their lies.
And it was all Trump-inspired. I watched his speech on Wednesday morning. It was filled with lies and filled with hate. And Trump’s message included instructions to march to the Capitol to show their strength, not their weakness.
To all of this in the aftermath of the invasion of the Capitol building while Congress was in session certifying the Electoral College votes… I say,
ARREST THEM ALL!!
No hesitation. No debate. No dismissal. No diminishing their crimes.
ARREST everyone who breached security, broke the windows, climbed the walls, and stormed into the Nation’s Capitol Building. And ARREST Donald J. Trump for inciting violence and criminal behavior.
I realize that Trump is within days of ending his presidency. However, his actions, encouragement, and pack of lies about who won the election confirm his lunacy. I also understand that the House of Representatives will bring up a new Impeachment charge on Monday, and the 25th Amendment is also being explored.
We will know the outcome of those actions by January 20th when civility returns to the Executive Branch of government during the Inauguration.
For now, I just want all of the anarchists ARRESTED and TRIED for their CRIMES.
It will take ten more commentaries to express my outrage about the lack of security during Wednesday’s invasion versus the over intensity of security at Washington’s Lafayette Square last June when rubber bullets, tear gas and night sticks thrashed about Black Lives Matter PEACEFUL protestors. The double standards are now evident and irrefutable. When you’re black, brown, or George Floyd, you’re automatically pounced on by multiple police officers.
When you're a Proud Boy, you’re SUPPORTED by rogue Congresspersons and escorted into the Capitol Building by Trump-supporting police.
Had that been Black Lives Matter supporters storming the Capitol Building, the dead bodies would have been stacked up by the dozens!!!!
ALL IN AMERICA!!
Wednesday’s historical invasion of the US Capitol had not happened since August 1814 when the British stormed and set fire to the building. The ease that the anarchists had in entering the Capitol on Wednesday suggests that SOME of the police MAY have been complicit or sympathizers of Trump’s wild lies about a stolen election. The Capitol police leadership has already resigned. More heads will roll in the days ahead. Congressional officials like Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Josh Hawley never flinched in supporting Trump’s lies, even after the invasion and after the Electoral College count resumed. They do NOT represent the integrity of the American people. They should be defeated in their next elections.
This has EVERYTHING to do with diversity, equity, inclusion, and multiculturalism. That’s why I am using strong language and NOT mincing words. Donald Trump impacted my business last Fall when he issued the Executive Ban preventing Diversity Training for federal agencies and federal contractors. I was bitterly upset about that ban and openly denounced it.
I am denouncing Donald J. Trump once again for being the primary orchestrator of the January 6th Capitol invasion. Arrests must be made, and investigations must continue.
Kenya healed from their nightmare post-election days of 2007-2008. We must do so also as we face the double standards of a fractured America.
May God protect the United States during these last few days of the Trump Administration. And may we be healed and restored under the Biden-Harris Presidency.
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©2023 All Rights Reserved Carole Copeland Thomas • (508) 947-5755 • Carole@mssconnect.com