She’s Been Identified as Ashli Babbitt. No, We Will Not #SayHerName

On Wednesday, Congress gathered to certify the votes electing Joe Biden the subsequent president of the United States—and a coalition of homegrown terrorists gathered to, within the phrases of the now-infamous “Elizabeth from Knoxville,” “storm the Capitol” (h/t WBIR). Complaining to cameras about being maced as she and 1000’s of others unlawfully occupied the seat of the United States’ legislative department, the earnest insurrectionist unwittingly embodied the spirit of the day: entitlement so full it obfuscated even probably the most fundamental consideration that she and her largely QAnon-subscribing cohorts won’t solely be totally improper however totally out of their depth.

“It’s a revolution!” Elizabeth gasped—a proclamation which may’ve been hysterically hypocritical if the “revolution” in query hadn’t additionally been senselessly lethal.

No doubt Ashli Babbitt, the Air Force veteran who reportedly traveled cross nation from her native California solely to die of a gunshot wound incurred whereas breaching the Capitol constructing, believed she was additionally a revolutionary. It possible by no means crossed her thoughts she’d die largely perceived as a terrorist partaking in treason towards the nation she’d as soon as fought to defend, relatively than a martyr for an already no longer alive trigger. A glimpse at her now painfully hubristic social media signifies a passionate adherence to even probably the most simply disprovable of Trump’s claims, together with heavy regurgitation of QAnon conspiracy theories and rhetoric (together with use of the aforementioned popular Nazi vernacular “storm”).

That is, nicely, tragic.

“Nothing will cease us,” she reportedly responded to a tweet on Tuesday, in accordance with the Washington Post. “[T]hey can try to try to strive however the storm is right here and it’s descending upon DC in lower than 24 hours … darkish to mild!”

No matter what “mild” Babbitt could have achieved or sought in her 35 years of life (and there undoubtedly was some), her legacy will now ceaselessly be tied to probably the most shameful occasions in American historical past. On January 6, radicalized home terrorists—of which she, sadly, was one—occupied the nation’s Capitol. Now, some trying to martyrize her are attempting to co-opt a phrase borne of one other motion, asking us to #SayHerName.

Too many comparisons have been made between the occasions of January 6 (and earlier than it, final April’s try to overtake Michigan’s Capitol building) and the motion for Black lives. Some are very obligatory juxtapositions proving the clearly discriminate responses to uprisings from these additionally very completely different teams, significantly by the police. Others are extra sinister, dangerous religion takes—or at greatest, willfully obtuse of their makes an attempt to characterize a motion recognizing the humanity and human rights of Black folks as equally legitimate and oppositional to a racism-fueled legion of election-deniers.

We aren’t the identical. Ashli Babbitt was not, as one Tweeter cavalierly phrased it, “an UNARMED WOMAN and sufferer of POLICE BRUTALITY, [who] was gunned down…by trigger-happy cops in DC.” Neither was she a lady defending her civil rights and or private liberty, as neither had been below menace—except maybe we’re speaking about the suitable to die and put others at lethal danger by not sporting a masks in public areas. (Whether Babbitt was masked when she stormed the Capitol has not been disclosed.)

Babbitt was not Sandra Bland. She was not Atatiana Jefferson or Korryn Gaines or Breonna Taylor or any variety of Black ladies killed for merely defending their proper to exist—or, within the case of Jefferson and Taylor, merely current in their very own houses. Even if we’re simply speaking about white ladies exercising First Amendment rights (of which insurrections aren’t), she is actually no Heather Heyer. And even when we’re speaking about ladies killed whereas seemingly posing a menace to elected officers, Babbitt isn’t even near, as many have famous, Miriam Carey, who was reportedly struggling postpartum psychosis when, together with her 19-month-old daughter onboard, she rammed her automobile right into a White House barricade and was subsequently killed in a barrage of bullets on Capitol Hill by safety forces in 2013.

To query Babbitt’s psychological well being is comprehensible; to raise her to martyrdom isn’t. Babbitt not solely enthusiastically took half in a violent revolt supposed to upend democracy, disenfranchise voters, and unlawfully preserve the presidency of a person who has repeatedly pledged his allegiance to white supremacy. We can shake our heads on the senselessness of Babbitt’s demise—she was a human being, nevertheless misguided—but it surely was a senselessness she’d eagerly invested her life in. We can acknowledge the very actual hazard of radicalized pondering, however how can we be anticipated to successfully mourn the passing of a human being who died in unabashed help of a person with no regard for human life?

“I actually do not know why she determined to do that,” Babbitt’s mother-in-law informed D.C.’s Fox5 News.

We do not both, however we won’t cast her in the identical breath as we converse of the harmless or these disproportionately focused by racial profiling and police violence. Neither will we gloat over the chaos this girl invited into her life alongside together with her religion in Trump and the radicalized proper. If we’re feeling beneficiant, maybe we will merely contemplate Babbitt’s demise a teachable second, however we won’t—not as we speak, not ever—#SayHerName.


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