Robin Hood, Where Are You?
A personal essay
By Daniel Vollaro
On the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection, Robin Hood appeared to me as if in a dream. There was no obvious reason I should have been thinking of him, no banners in his name from that awful day in 2021; no t-shirts proclaiming that “Robin Hood was Right,” or wrong; no clever Robin Hood memes, pro or anti insurrection. Nevertheless, he was suddenly there, as present in my imagination as he had been when I was a child. I had not seen him in a very long time.
I immediately understood why he had come. In my desire to escape from the one-year-anniversary news stories and think pieces and retrospectives, all forcing me to relive that terrible day, I had inadvertently summoned a being who is the antithesis of the MAGA-QAnon-Oath Keeper swamp that oozed into the Capitol Complex that day. That mob was the walking embodiment of cowardice and dishonorable conduct, from its leader promising ”I’ll be there with you” and then promptly retreating to the White House to the chorus of participants who now want to faux apologize or plead ignorance or blame others for deceiving them or deny that they were even there. Robin Hood, on the other hand, is a paragon of courage and chivalry, a righter of wrongs and solver of problems who always looks out for his fellow yeomen. An outlaw, yes, but an honorable one. Robin takes credit for his law breaking and looks his friends and enemies in the eye. Liars are especially likely to feel his wrath.
Robin would have been mystified by the insurrectionists. There was no one to champion or rescue and nothing of value to steal. No archery contest to win or good sport to be had. You tased a police officer in the neck, he would ask? What did he do to you? You broke into the Capitol building to hunt down and possibly kill an elderly woman named Nancy Pelosi? Where is your chivalry? You rifled through some papers and took a shit in someone’s office. What does that accomplish? You built a gallows to hang a man because he refuses to say what you want him to say about an election? Really? Robin would not be opposed in principle to the idea of mischief or property destruction or even a little violence, but he would wonder, who actually benefits from this? What is the point? What injustice was crying out to be righted on that day? Was it really nothing more than the fact that one of the most pampered, silver spoon-fed men in America was thwarted from realizing his political ambitions?