I’m typing this at 5:09 pm on January 6th, frustrated because I had other plans (including a celebratory Sherlock Holmes birthday post, but I’ll write that next week). After starting the afternoon watching Congress certify election results, as events unfolded, I came to a sad conclusion: What’s happening at the Capitol Building is not a protest – it’s an insurrection.
What happened at the Capitol Building was never about a “peaceful transfer of power”; it was a President’s last grasp about holding onto power at any cost. Even if doing so meant encouraging open rebellion and encouraging alt-right organizations to storm the Capitol. (Thankfully, the election certification certificates were removed and taken to a safe place).
What happened at the Capitol Building was not about “expressing the will of the people”; it was about how 13 Senators and 106 Representatives made a decision to knowingly support divisive policies. As the day went on, they were arrogant enough to decry the violence while never acknowledging their complicity in sabotaging the will of the people.
What happened at the Capitol Building was never about having personal rights “infringed” thanks to COVID-19 based lockdowns; it was precisely about imposing their rights over others. It wasn’t just that their candidate lost, but that people who were not them (nor, in some cases, shared their skin color) come out to express their voice.
What happened at the Capitol Building today was not about “expressing an opinion”; it was about ensuring dominance through fear. Nazi and Confederate flags were raised within the Capitol. Participants sat in congressional audiences, stole items, and the police just…let them. As of this writing, no charges have been filed.
What happened at the Capitol Building was not a case of “both sides are wrong”. One side wishes to focus on asserting justice and consideration for everyone; the other side hung a noose in front of the Capitol Building. Instead of learning the lessons from racial incidents over the past four years, they chose to demonize and antagonize. (Notice how last year’s Black Lives Matter protests had heavy police presence, but very little police enforcement at the Capitol Building this time around).
What happened at the Capitol Building is not something that “we’re better than.” Our overall history, including the policies of the last four years, has proven that wrong. This administration has separated children from families, demonized immigrants, engaged in destructive domestic policies, brought us to the brink of war, and mismanaged a pandemic resulting in over 300,000 Americans dying from COVID-19 on a daily basis. We’ve lost the moral high ground to a President who never had one.
I spent most of today angry, worried, concerned. Many of my friends have been affected by the President’s policies, and some have even experienced direct threats. As this country is hoping to heal and move forward, this was a pathetic attempt to scare our country into compliance. The people who stormed the Capitol Building engaged in a domestic terrorist attack, hoping to have as devastating an effect as those behind the 9/11 attacks.
This wasn’t just about “we disagree with our government”, it was “we want to destroy our government”.
In short, it wasn’t a protest at the Capitol Building, it was an insurrection.
Let’s call it what it is.
The sooner we do, the sooner we get through this.