Happy New Year!
I’m not sure when it becomes too late to wish someone a happy new year. Some restrict the salutation to just the first three days, others extend it out to the first week, or even all of January. I tend to just wish a happy new year until the year wears out (a very fluid standard, I know).
This question applies to other terms as well. When is a couple no longer a “newlywed”? When is a “belated” happy birthday an “early” happy birthday? These are contentions about narrative, terminology, and community on a small scale.
I’ve been thinking about these three areas of contention a lot this week. I thought about it as I watched Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) grovel and beg for Tucker Carlson’s forgiveness for calling the insurrection a “terrorist attack.” I thought about it as I read essays considering Jan. 6 and spiritual warfare. I thought about it as Twitter erupted to defend Elmo against the cruelty of Rocco and Zoe, who refuse to let Elmo enjoy a cookie.
Lastly, I thought about it as I watched a 1973 episode of Firing Line where William F. Buckley and Huey P. Newton discussed the differences between insurrections and revolutions. At one point, Newton says that the only revolutions that are worthwhile are the ones that succeed, to which Buckley quips: “Otherwise it’s called an insurrection.”
We can hope Buckley is right (author’s note: I wonder if this is the first time those words have appeared in our pages). In many ways, the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection failed: Mike Pence was not hanged and the election results were not overturned. But the broader goals of the insurrectionists — namely the upkeep of white Christian nationalism — are still in motion. It will take more than just anniversary speeches to make sure the insurrectionists fail in those pursuits.
Here are 10 articles to ponder as we go about that work; Happy New Year.
1. The Capitol Attack Held Up a Mirror to the Nation
A year after Jan. 6, we must reckon with what the country has become since its founding. By Lisa Sharon Harper via Sojourners.
2. What It’s Like to Be the Child of a January 6 Insurrectionist
One teen reported his own dad to the FBI. By Fortesa Latifi via Teen Vogue.
3. ‘We Have to Be a Counter Voice to White Christian Nationalism’
Many faith groups marked the Jan. 6 anniversary with prayer and dialogue. By Madison Muller via sojo.net.
4. A Year Later, We Know Exactly Who the Capitol Rioters Were
The leading researcher on the riot explains what he's found — and what's coming in 2022. By Aymann Ismail via Slate.
5. Spiritual Warfare on the Feast of the Epiphany
Jan. 6 confirmed to me that my Pentecostal pastors were actually correct: There really is a war going on. By Miguel Petrosky via sojo.net.
6. Christian Nationalism Is One of Trump’s Most Powerful Weapons
And it is still being wielded in service of Trump’s fictions. By Katherine Stewart via nytimes.com.
7. How Should Abolitionists Think About Consequences for Jan. 6?
What if we're asking the wrong question? By Tori Williams Douglass via sojo.net.
8. Zoe's Pet Rock Is 2022's First Cancellation
This is a justice issue, I've phoned Rev. Sharpton, and I've been angry about this for four days now. By R. Eric Thomas via Previously On…
9. How Will We Teach Our Kids About Jan. 6?
What we choose to remember, and how we choose to remember it, profoundly shapes our sense of reality. By Adam Russell Taylor via sojo.net.
10. Facebook Hosted Surge of Misinformation and Insurrection Threats in Months Leading Up to Jan. 6 Attack, Records Show
Analysis of Facebook posts, internal company documents, and interviews, provides the clearest evidence yet that the social media giant played a critical role in spreading lies that fomented the violence of Jan. 6. By Craig Silverman, Craig Timberg, Jeff Kao, and Jeremy B. Merrill via ProPublica and The Washington Post.