Welcome to Issue 43.3 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
Today’s news, fermented:
The day we thought would never arrive.
If a certain someone hadn’t been banned forever from Twitter, I’d be expecting a tweet about how many fewer people are at today’s inauguration ceremony than four years ago.
As one of the thousands of people who blockaded entrances to the 2017 inauguration for hours, getting smushed by newly-emboldened supporters of the incoming president and irritated Secret Service agents, I have complicated memories of those events. It was heartening to see people in the streets, arm in arm, doing something symbolic albeit worthwhile.
But then when hundreds (more?) were arrested, only a few for ‘property damage’ (wells fargo, gtfo with your broken window complaints), and the scene was cleared for the peaceful, pink hat-adorned crowd the following day, the loss hit me—it was the people who were thrilled to vote for Hillary, and believed that having a woman in office was more important than murderous foreign policy choices and weak defenses for minority groups, who were claiming the grief of the moment.
The centrists were sad.
So much of the last four years has been the manifestation of the Spineless Politician’s Grief. Remember, yes, that while Democrats didn’t have majority numbers to work with, there were so many moments when the people called on them to stand up for immigrant justice, for protections against a pandemic, for justice for Black lives, and the centrists failed? What on earth were they doing, licking their festering wounds?
All of this is to say—while four years of nonsense have gone down at the Capitol, and who knows what’s to come today, the actual left has been building something. When I say the actual left, I’m talking about everyone of all identities, but specifically the Black women who, as they so often have in this country’s history, saved the collective us from the worst of ourselves. Black women won Georgia. Black women guided uprisings for racial and economic justice. Black women did and do essential work.
Now, the ~conversation~ acknowledges the ways in which we must address the deepest wrongs that got us to 2016, and allowed the centrists to wince their way to 2020. The next New Deal must be for Black Americans. The police are actually also vigilantes. And so on.
It’s exciting we’ve arrived here, on this final day of a deadly presidency. But it’s not about Biden, it’s about us.
Here’s to letting the right things go extinct.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
I am an unapologetic fan of the Backstreet Boys. I am an unapologetic fan of a lot of "bubblegum" and tween-y pop music of the 1990s and the early 2000s, but I particularly love the Backstreet Boys because they were my favorite growing up. I love the Backstreet Boys so much that I immediately knew Nick Carter was under the costume of the Crocodile on the latest season of The Masked Singer the minute he sang the first note on the first episode.
Which is why i was a little heartbroken to read that Brian Littrell recently joined alt-right social media platform Parler and has been tweeting about it. TWO DAYS after the attack at the U.S. Capitol, by the way. And not only that, he might also believe in the QAnon conspiracy that has pulverized many brains in the United States and removed all ability for so many people to have even the faintest trace of a rational thought anymore. Brian?! What happened to you?! I did not want it this way!
Interestingly enough, bandmate and cousin Kevin Richardson has been sub-tweeting Brian and his, um, beliefs for some time now by posting pointed articles to social media about QAnon and their links to far-right violence.
Including the side-eye emoji and the peace sign? Kevin is throwing major shade and I'm guessing whatever political conversations happened at the Littrell-Richardson family holiday dinner recently did not go down too well. And though I'm a little dismayed at the fact that Brian has turned out to be trash, I'm glad that it's not the entire band that holds these views, because this means I can still listen to their music without feeling guilty that I'm supporting them. Kevin was always the hottest Backstreet Boy anyway so I will consider this very bare-minimum effort of renouncing the far-right from a celebrity a pandemic win for me! #SmallVictories