America is a great country. But the US Capitol Insurrection is part of a long, dark, racial history in the United States.

Image for post
Image for post

“This isn’t who we are.”

President-elect Joe Biden said these words in the aftermath of Wednesday’s assault on the US Capitol. Politicians like to say this during events like this. I believe that President-elect Biden and others who use that phrase mean nothing but good. They want to say that as Americans we aspire to higher goals and that what happened is something that is uncharacteristic of who we are as Americans.

This phrase comes from a good place. It’s also incredibly wrong. This is who we are. This is who we are as a nation.

African Americans, Native Americans and other persons of color are more aware of the dark sides of American history, where people are not treated equally. Those dark sides still continue to this day. It is not too far fetched to say that white Americans and persons of color had two different views as they saw the mostly white crowd running amok within the walls of the US Capitol. White Americans think “this isn’t who we are.” But African Americans and other persons of color shake their heads and say “This IS Who we are.” We say that because we know that this event wasn’t just about crazy Trump supporters. It was about race. President Trump wanted to overturn a fair election by invalidating the votes of millions of Americans in six states, many of which have substantial African American populations. While America is a better place for African Americans than it was in the 1950s and earlier, there are still challenges and that includes what happened on January 6. …


President Trump won’t be able to change the results of the election. But Michigan shows how he is destabilizing American democracy.

Image for post
Image for post

November 17, 2020 might go down as a date when American democracy was put to an extreme test. It was the day a county in Michigan was close to not certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The county is Wayne County in my home state of Michigan. Wayne County is home to the city of Detroit, the state’s largest city and a city that is 83% African American.

Two GOP canvassers decided to not certify the results. Had they not change their minds it would have invalidated over 800,000 votes, a good chunk of those votes were made by African Americans. Without the votes from the state’s largest county, it would have flipped the results with Trump in the leads with over 175,000 votes. …


Especially in these divided times, Christians have to be agents not just of justice, but of reconciliation.

Image for post
Image for post

The following is my reflection for the Midweek Vespers service from November 4, 2020.

“Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other. 14 And over all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.”

Colossians 3:13–14

It’s almost over. …


Liberals and Never Trump Conservatives must learn Donald Trump was a warning from the Working-Class.

Image for post
Image for post

Alex was a worker at an Ohio factory. When his plant was bought out by a multinational corporation, he learned he learned how expendable he was to to the company.

Alex came down with the flu, which put him out of commission and out of work for three days. When he returned, he came armed with a doctor’s note explaining why he called in sick. The new plant manager didn’t accept the note because the doctor never said when Alex could come back to work. Alex got a revised note. This time the plant manager said he should have called in each day he was out. Alex explained in the past calling in on the first day was sufficient. …


I used to believe that people would judge me on my skills and not skin color. Experience taught me otherwise.

Image for post
Image for post

Writer’s Note (January 10, 2021): I wrote this story nearly five years ago in the middle of a job search. I’m in the middle of another job search and I can tell you that things haven’t changed much.

There is a hesitancy on my part about sharing this because I don’t want to complain and I know that race is not as big a factor as it was say 50 years ago. I still want to believe that my skills will speak for themselves. …


What happened at the Capitol could be a one-off or a harbinger of things to come.

Image for post
Image for post

What is there to say at the close of this memorable day in American history.

Nothing and everything.

There is a lot I could talk about: like how in the world could the Capitol Hill Police allow this to happen. I could talk about why the mostly white group of insurrectionists were treated with kid gloves by said police. I could talk about the bravery and grace of Senator Mitt Romney. I could talk about Vice President Pence who spoke in a way we have longed for this President to speak in times of crisis. I could talk about how this might irreparably damage the Republican Party. …


The Future of the Republican Party

In thinking about the future of the Republican Party, look to software development.

Image for post
Image for post

NeverTrumpers have reason to be proud of themselves. Because of their hard work, they were able to make Donald Trump a one-term President.

What happens next to NeverTrumpers? If history is any teacher, these dissidents will leave the GOP to become independents or Democrats. Heterodox Republicans almost never stay heterodox forever.

This has been borne out by observation. Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve seen dissidents be they moderates or NeverTrumpers is that they get disgusted with the politics of the party and decide to leave. …


It’s Time for Trump Critics to Move Forward.

Image for post
Image for post

How committed are NeverTrumpers to rebuilding conservatism?

If people are truly interested in the future of the GOP and/or conservatism then you need to do one very important thing: get off social media.

That’s probably a little too drastic, but not too much. If we are concerned about the current state of the Republican Party, then we have to move away from just talking about it on Facebook and Twitter and move into deeper discussions on the next steps, introspection, and dreaming of what can be and not simply complaining about the present.

NeverTrump has been a successful online movement. Social media allowed people who were fed up with the actions of Donald Trump and the current Republican Party to come together and work to remove the President from office. Because of social media people like Heath Mayo who was upset about the devolution of the conservative political action conference into a Trump regalia was able to gather like-minded folk into an organized group, Principles First which has been kept the light shining on a real conservatism and not the performative conservatism of Trump and his cronies. …


Writing

I’m learning to write for myself.

Image for post
Image for post

“Is writing really what you should be doing?”

I heard those words during lunch on a wonderful spring day. I was having a lunch time meeting with my supervisor. It was my yearly review and things weren’t going well.

“Is writing really what you should be doing?” Those words cut me to the heart. I had loved writing since I was eleven. I could remember writing stories as a kid. When blogging became a thing, I dove right in and enjoyed the back and forth I got from the comments section. …


2020 in Review

2020 has been a rough year. But like my hometown of Flint, Michigan there is joy amidst the grief.

Image for post
Image for post

The year 2020 is, thankfully, almost over. Very few of us will be looking back fondly on this year of a pandemic with over 300,000 dead, tons of canceled events, massive numbers of jobs lost, racial strife, and an incredibly divisive election that did untold damage to democracy. There doesn’t seem to be anything good to say about the year 2020.

Right?

A few years ago, I was back in my hometown of Flint, Michigan to visit my parents. As my husband and I drove down Dort Highway on the east side of town, a memory came flooding back into my mind. The memory was from the 1970s when I was in grade school. I can remember auto carrier trucks lumbering up and down Dort Highway. The trucking company had its main garage on this side of town and you would see truck after truck filled with Buicks and Chevrolets going to all points across the nation. This memory came back to me forty years later because as I drove down Dort Highway, I realized that those carriers no longer lumbered down the road. In fact, they hadn’t driven on that road for years. …

About

Dennis Sanders

A middle-aged pastor living in Minneapolis. I write about politics, religion, sexuality, and autism. https://www.dennislsanders.net/

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store