Wayne Dawkins is a writer, and a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.

By Wayne Dawkins
Special to the AFRO

It is a new extraordinary era. Joe Biden, the two-term vice president who served with President Obama during 2009-2017, is to be sworn in as the 46th U.S. president. Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, is to make history as the first woman vice president and woman of color in that seat. 

Truly a time for celebration, healing and optimism.

Yet, reality bites. At this writing many Americans are holding their breaths. Will we continue the unbroken 223-year tradition of peacefully transferring power from one president to another? Many Americans are unsure. The 45th president stoked a domestic terrorist attack on our legislative branch of government Jan. 6. 

Donald John Trump cannot squirm away from that reality. He told a rabid mob he would lead them to the Capitol, where Congress was verifying the Electoral College vote, and like a coward that he is, Trump detoured to the White House as the mob overpowered the police, broke into the Capitol, vandalized the place, and looked for legislators to maim, detain or maybe kill. 

And the siege of D.C. was deadly. There were at least five deaths, including a Capitol police officer. Trump is almost gone but he must be held accountable.

This is not hyperbole, based on the arrests by federal authorities that are occurring daily, and media investigations that are reconstructing far sinister intentions than was imagined. 

Many Americans want to celebrate the incoming new leadership, but joy is tempered by 25,000 National Guard soldiers who are guarding the capital against follow-up attacks by domestic terrorists. Meanwhile, every state capital is on alert for armed demonstrations and possible violent attacks by right-wing radicals. 

At Trump’s January 2017 inauguration he promised an end to “American carnage,” yet to quote song man Billy Joel, “We didn’t start the fire,” Trump was the arsonist.

Endless lying and brainwashing by Trump and his enablers have produced this poison: Seventy-four percent of Republicans say the Biden-Harris team was not elected in free and fair elections, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll last week. 

Think about that. In at least two of four states where the results were razor thin, the votes were recounted two, even three times and simple arithmetic reported that Trump lost, but his GOP elected officials largely won. 

And Republican election officials counted those disputed ballots! 

Yet, 100-plus cynical Republicans challenged the results that were accurate. Why are they driving their political party toward irrelevance? Beats the heck out of me.

Instead of pondering other peoples’ insanity, the focus now must be on saving lives and restoring trust and integrity. At least 400,000 covid-19 American deaths have occurred in nearly 12 months, and the daily numbers are pushing upward. Biden-Harris and their team of competent public servants promise to jump into the void and stop the pandemic’s momentum. 

The other challenge is fortifying the unsteady economy. People are hungry, jobless and on the verge of eviction. They need help. Team Biden-Harris are going to need support, including from the Trump true believers who insist the incoming leaders are illegitimate.

Here’s a hopeful sign. As the twice-impeached Trump exits 1600 Pennsylvania for Florida, false social media posts about a stolen 2020 election declined substantially once Twitter, Facebook et al put the liar in chief in timeout. 

With the toxic propaganda machine muted, is it possible that a sizable chunk of poisoned Americans will snap out of their haze? 

On the pulse of this new day,” said Maya Angelou at the 1993 inauguration, “You may have the grace to look up and out and into your sister’s eyes and out to your brother’s face, your country, and say simply, with hope, say simply, ‘good morning.’”

The writer is a professor of professional practice at Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication.