Updated: Oct 31, 2022
“Where's Nancy?” An attacker yelling broke into Senator Nancy Pelosi's home in San Francisco and attacked her husband. However, Senator Pelosi was not in residence at the time of the attack. However, unswayed, the attacker still proceeded to viciously hurt Mr. Paul Pelosi with a hammer causing severe damage to his skull. This reprehensible attack of violence against a sitting Democratic United States senator and leader of the House of Representatives shows the growing disdain for the rule of authority and how misinformation conspires to lead extremists to perpetrate such a crime. Sad to say, but I was not shocked at the news but embarrassed, disgraced and disappointed, and most alarmed at the violence visited upon one of our nation's leaders, who also happens to be a female. I believe this last point is most important, so let’s unpack why Nancy Pelosi's gender is so meaningful to this attack that is far from random but a specific target.
You may recall back in 2016 during the presidential election. Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were locked in a heated presidential battle for the highest office in our nation, both sides grappling with the direction of our country and Mrs Hillary Clinton potentially running as the first female candidate for American president. Intelligent and articulate, Hillary Clinton held more than her own on the debate stage against Donald Trump. On the campaign trail, she unabashedly not only held their own but directly challenged Donald Trump, a professed narcissist, and the stereotypical white male in power. Hilary Clinton took all his jabs and punches and kicks but still did not fall and never yielded. She fainted, jabbed, parried, and delivered a left and a right cross, displaying all the characteristics of a pugilist boxer. However, not to be outdone, Donald Trump reached into his dirty bag of political tricks or, as we say at breaking ranks blog politricks, he pounded on the platform of conspiracy. He took hold of a situation with Hillary Clinton's e-mail server. Trump ran with it to the point of using this situation as a political whipping stick at his party's National Convention. The now infamous chant of "lock her up, lock her up" heard throughout the crowd at the national Republican convention echoed and cheered by his children in the front row clapping, his soon-to-be Secretary of Defense cheering them on, and he is clapping along, encouraging the crowd. The “lock her up” chant manifested into a republican theme song, even heard at a high school in the background at a speech by Jeff in Washington DC and later on the campaign trail for Donald Trump.
The eerie echoes of "the lock her up" chants seemed to fade into the background after Donald Trump won the election. Although Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more than 3 million American votes, weren't for the electoral vote selecting the president of the United States, Mrs. Hillary Clinton would have won the election.; also, there was that inconvenient Russian interference, but that's an impeachment topic for another day.
The state of Michigan-governor Gretchen Whitmer's COVID policy saved many Michigan citizens' lives during the COVID epidemic. However, some Michigan citizens, like the militia, were upset with her COVID policies of locking down the states to save lives and stop the spread. These militiamen threatened to kidnap her family and cause her violence; however, the FBI was able to thwart this attempt and stop it. But rather than doing more to stop threats against a U.S. governor, Donald Trump went on the attack against Mrs Whitmer. He launched a personal attack against the governor, while in the background, chants of "lock her up, lock her up" was resurrected as if it were a ghost from 2016.
In 2019, president trump told the House of Representatives the squad of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ilhan Omar, why don't they go back and help fix the broken and crime-infested places they came from? These United States House of Representatives are all women of color and American citizens. Presley was born in Cincinnati, Talib was born in Detroit, and Ocasio Cortez was born in New York, While Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia and became a U.S. Citizen. Once again, as with governor Whitmer, then President Trump did not diffuse the situation but instead lit the match and proclaimed to another Trump rally crowd that if the squad did not like living in America, they should leave. The crowd did not respond with a chant of "lock her up" but instead chanted "send her back, send her back." These congresswomen received anti-Muslim and racist hate mail and death threats. Congresswoman Cortez travels with a 24-hour security detail, so the danger is real.
The hatred fueled by Donald Trump and his supporters is real. The republican ambivalence and silence towards this threat are wretched. The GOP eye wink and head nod and “stand back stand by” only serves to encourage, entice and motivate extremists to do their treachery. After all, you can feign outrage publicly but privately at their strategic planning sites, over tall whiskey, and a cigar enjoy the mayhem and chaos. Add how the division has kept and propelled their party elite to power. Now that is fantasy, that is a parting of the political right-wing curtain to peek at the machinery. The new era of profane and provocative racist free speech, anti-Semitism and racist slurs are now as common as grilled cheese sandwiches served in school cafeterias. This era certainly is Jim Crow 2.0. For example, it was not long ago when African American soldiers fought for their country overseas in WWII, return home from the War, and be killed for wearing a uniform they proudly wore to defend a nation that did not love them. So, as outlandish as it may seem, the minute Elon Musk purchased Twitter, extremist supporters saw an increase in their social media following. Other Twitter users increased the use of racial slurs to embrace Elon Musk's promise of expanded freedom on the social media platform that tried to monitor hate speech and misinformation. I am not shocked at the attempted attack on Pelosi and the violence done to her, but I'm disappointed and outraged at an intensity many of us have seen coming. The January 6th insurrectionists trolled hallways of the U.S. Capitol looking for Nancy Pelosi and shouting her name as seen in exhibits presented during the Jan 6th hearings. The only question is what will be done, if anything, to thwart or counter these overt threats. Will there continue to be that wink and that understood nod? What about the dark money payments to GOP operatives or the brown bag drop-offs at the place where militia go to hang out? The GOP Republican party playbook has an entire chapter on paying political operatives.
The common thread throughout this post is the consistent way Donald Trump goes after women. He has a hatred and misogynistic view of women, and he goes after them with a zeal unlike any president or government authority. Furthermore, his dislike and disdain for women in power is something many haven't seen in the American government in quite some time. The danger he brings is authentic, and that danger has caused Senators Nancy Pelosi, Cortez, and Omar to receive the most death threats of any Congress member. Senator Nancy Pelosi tops that list of death threats, and an attacker went after her yesterday. Hence, we presumed more attacks are to follow: If we are watching Twitter the escalation of slurs; If we are watching and listening to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; If we are watching and listening to Donald Trump and his supporters; If we are watching and listening to Kevin McCarthy; If we are watching and listening to Mitch McConnell who didn't even defend his wife. From racial attack by Trump. Then the answer is yes, a resounding yes, there will be more violence. Please remember to vote and remember silence is compliance. I pray for Nancy Pelosi and her family as well as all the brave women and men that stand-up to tyranny as they govern under the weighted threats of violence to protect our democracy. Freedom was never free, and it remains so.