The racial double-standard in policing was all too evident when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol last week. The largely white mob’s attack on the seat of government was met with relatively light law enforcement, compared to the harsh and brutal tactics used on Black Lives Matter protesters last summer. This hour, on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, we reflect on racial justice and equity at the end of the Trump era. We’ll talk about the year of racial reckoning following the police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the calls for police reform. We’ll also look at how COVID has laid bare racial disparities around health and economic wellbeing. And, we’ll discuss the issues that should be on the forefront of the Biden and the new Congresses’ agenda. Our guests are ERRIN HAINES, journalist and editor at large for The 19th, SARAH JACKSON, associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, and Reverend MARK KELLY TYLER, Pastor of Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia
On the relationship between Trump and the white evangelical church:
Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler: When this is all over, we’re not going to necessarily remember the Donald Trumps of the world as much as we’re going to remember the silence of our friends. And so in this moment, it has been striking how quiet the white evangelical church has been. They have an opportunity to help to shape this narrative and to help their parishioners, many of whom were at the capital storming. And these were, quote unquote, Christian people from, you know, churches. And so what are the pastors saying on Sunday morning? Are they reinforcing the lie that something has been stolen or are they trying to help them?
On seeing this moment coming
Marty Moss-Coane: What did that moment that day tell you about America?
Sarah Jackson: I think, unfortunately, it told us something that a lot of us already knew. You know, there have been journalists, there have been politicians, there have been many ordinary folks who’ve been warning that the last five years of the discourse and rhetoric and the mis- and disinformation, which really has turned into a propaganda machine for these extremists, was coming to something like this. And I think, unfortunately, we got there and we didn’t cut it off. We didn’t end it soon enough. And so I think it tells us a lot about the fact that, unfortunately, the Obama era gave people a lot of hope about democracy and progress, but that that was naive in a lot of ways and fragile in a lot of ways.
On voter suppression and the insurrection
Errin Haines: On January 6th, in the hours before the insurrection happened, I was covering the Georgia Senate runoff that had happened just the night before, where you saw Black voters in particular defending democracy, really defeating voter suppression efforts…And, you know, a lot of, frankly, what that insurrection was about was it was a pushback against the expansion of American democracy to certain voters.