Wednesday happened. January 6, 2021, happened. That really happened, y’all.
I wanted to make sure that I—The Root’s staff entertainment writer who routinely deals in fiction—noted that this thing that seems to only happen in the movies…happened in real life (because to be fair, we can’t forget the attempted Michigan governor kidnapping plot from a few months ago). I’m still processing everything, as I’m sure you are too while reading this. But since politics and U.S. happenings tend to intersect with Hollywood ever so often, we at The Root decided to highlight some of the Black Hollywood notables who decided to use their platforms to speak out on the insurrection and terrorism that occurred on Capitol Hill, what the moment meant to Black Americans and how the current Agitator-In-Chief incited it all.
You know the term “lede” used in journalism to describe “the opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story?” Well, while the next sentence isn’t necessarily the opening sentence or paragraph...it is the most important aspect.
SHONDA RHIMES CALLED DONALD JOHN TRUMP AN “IGNORANT BITCH BABY.”
“Did that ignorant bitch baby just put out that video calling those terrorists ‘very special’?’ Rhimes tweeted, critiquing Trump’s highly irresponsible and downright narcissistic official response to the terrifying display that occurred on Wednesday.
Sure, I could just end this blog with her quote and a mic drop, but there’s more Black Hollywood commentary to highlight.
Ava DuVernay called out Trump’s statement, too, quoting one of his most enraging passages along with photos of the attempted coup and pointing out that he directed it to clear terrorists.
“The language of white supremacy is a language of cowardice disguised as dominance,” DuVernay added, posting the disgusting display of one of the white supremacist “Trumplicans” mocking the police-killing of George Floyd (Content warning: the recent link contains highly disturbing and triggering footage).
“Such A Sad,Sad Day In The So Called “CRADLE OF DEMOCRACY”,” he wrote in the caption. “Please Be Safe. THIS “COUP” Is No Joke. And As I Have Said Numerous Times Already-AGENT ORANGE Still Has Da NUCLEAR CODE. The United States Of America Is ON DA BRINK Of A CIVIL WAR.
Issa Rae, who typically only jumps on Twitter when absolutely necessary and otherwise minds her Black-ass business (which is a smart move for a celebrity to lessen the risk of saying something ignorant or offensive, to be honest) put it plain with, “Truly disgusted.”
John Legend, who is always one to call out Trump and add to the political discourse tweeted, “Anyone who voted for this tragic shitty narcissist mess of a president bears responsibility for this debacle today. He has shown you exactly who he was all along. You still supported him. You are complicit in the attempted destruction of the country. You are not a patriot.”
Speaking of showing us exactly what it is, Kerry Washington called out the too-often-implemented rhetoric expressing, “This isn’t America” or “America is better than this.” Because uh...no, the fuck it’s not better than this. This is America American-ing like a motherfucker. Unless we’re looking at two different American histories—something that is pretty damn convenient for the privileged.
In response to the President-elect’s use of the sentiment, Washington responded to a tweet from The Guardian Columnist Derecka Purnell, who pushed back on that narrative.
Purnell set it up with, “Biden: ‘This is not America.’ Narrator: ‘It was America.’” while Washington concluded with, “Oh wow. Good. I thought that was just in my head. Good to know that there WAS an actual narrator.” Washington also dropped a “#RemoveTrumpNow” hashtag, referring to the current conversation in regards to Congress possibly invoking the 25th Amendment for obvious reasons.
Speaking of removing Trump, Twitter decided to finally grow a spine in the 11th hour and go one more step in adequately disciplining #45 for his constant dangerous misinformation and violence-inciting tweets, all of which have always violated the social media platform’s terms and conditions, but Trump has been able to skate by on exemption due to their “World Leaders Policy.” So, on Wednesday, Twitter suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours, a move that was clearly the narcissistic nincompoop’s nightmare.
Natasha Rothwell (Insecure, Wonder Woman 1984), who has trolled the current president every single day since forever, delighted in this development.
“Knowing Trump can’t tweet right now is delicious,” she tweeted. Though I’m not giving Twitter (or Facebook/Instagram, both of which did something similar) any kudos for doing the right thing when the damage has already been done, I must say I smirked at the thought of Trump throwing all kinds of tantrums because he couldn’t spew his nonsense while President-elect Biden’s electoral victory was being certified.
Rothwell also touched on the blatant white privilege on display (you know, the fact these MAGAts stormed a federal building successfully while actual protesters are routinely terrorized because they’re fighting for Black lives), something Black folks spotted a mile away.
Of course, I could go on and on because we all had a lot to say about every aspect of this dumpster fire, but y’all get the gist. What happened on Wednesday wasn’t some dramatized Hollywood movie, it is reality. As the saying goes, “truth is stranger than fiction.” This is America’s truth.