A Dark Day in American History

I was going to write about all the happenings in the state of Georgia this week, but it seems like peanuts compared to what I witnessed on TV yesterday in Washington, D.C. I tuned it to ABC yesterday afternoon to witness the Joint Sessions of Congress to confirm Joseph R. Biden as President of the United States. The news coverage was dividing its time between the session and the “Save America” march to the Capitol building.

Suddenly, the march on the Capitol building became the sole news story. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was utterly shocked when I heard and saw that protestors had gotten into the Capitol building, which is currently closed to the public; you need to have credentials to get into the building during the pandemic. I was upset and scared that the America that I know and love was under siege. The scene looked like something out of a dystopian novel or a movie. This is something that doesn’t happen in our reality in this country, but unfortunately, it was happening. One of the first thoughts I had was whether these protestors were looking to overthrow the government and would be successful in doing so. The news was moving so fast; you just never knew what would happen next. This was just how the societies in The Hunger Games or The Handmaid’s Tale started. It made me seriously question my safety as an American citizen.

I support people’s right to assemble and their freedom of speech; these are some of the bedrocks of our American democracy. However, I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT CONDONE PUTTING PEOPLE’S LIVES IN DANGER AND VIOLENT BEHAVIOR LIKE THIS BECAUSE YOU DISAGREE WITH THEM OR DIDN’T GET WHAT YOU WANTED. I understand that you think that the election was rigged, and that President Trump was robbed. I disagree wholehearted with you that this is reality. However, storming the Capitol, intimidating those in power, inciting violence on our leaders, and leaving bombs in the RNC and DNC offices is abhorrent and reprehensible. In fact, that’s an understatement.

How dare you say you love your country, waving an American flag, while you desecrate one of our symbols of democracy? You are far from a patriot. There were chants heard like “This is our government!”. Their interpretation of this is farfetched to me. Yes, we are a democracy and elect people in government to work for us. If this is a hard concept to grasp for you, leave now. Your idea of democracy is nowhere near what us sane people and what our founding fathers envisioned for this country.  

This is unacceptable behavior that I believe was heavily influenced by the current President of the United States’ rhetoric. I’ve always thought that the words of a president matter, no matter what their political party is, because of the importance of the seat they hold. It’s one of the reasons why Donald Trump has bothered me as a candidate and as a President over the last five years. The oath that was taken on Inauguration Day in 2017 in which the President promised to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America is something to be taken seriously. I guess he didn’t take it seriously as we thought and instead decided to use the office for selfish means. The video that he released telling people to go home was lackluster and a half-assed effort. It really did nothing to change the outcome of the situation. It is becoming more apparent based on the resignations and breaks in allegiance by members of the Republican Party that he has turned into the Mad King, Don Quixote, etc. Although they may have enabled the monster he has become, at least now they realize he is a despot.

There are many people that have pointed out that the law enforcement, while they helped to alleviate some of the situation, wasn’t prepared nor did they have a presence like with the Black Lives Matter protests back in June. I completely agree with these people when they say it’s a double standard. There was knowledge of this rally prior to it occurring and I’m sure there were social media posts that could pointed to something like this happening in the first place. Right-wing media has also pointed out that there is hypocrisy by the mainstream media between those of the Black Lives Matter protests and this attack on the Capitol. What I will say to that is this: violence is unacceptable, no matter the situation. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this. However, some of these outlets should take a seat with their analysis of the mainstream media’s coverage; some of the rhetoric and misinformation with which President Trump has been espoused by these media outlets. What happened yesterday was another example of misinformation gone wrong (COVID-19’s impact on the United States being the other).  

I never thought this would be something that I would see in my lifetime and never thought it would be something I would see in my home country, the beacon of democratic hope for the world. There are plenty of people that are saying that 2021 is ending up being a bad year like 2020 was. I still have hope that the year will get better. I knew that Trumpism would eventually fade away once the president was out of office and lost his relevance. I didn’t think it would happen this quickly, especially with the suspensions of his social media accounts (who knows if this will be permanent?).

This stain in our history will remain, but one of the most important things to remember from this is this: our democracy is stronger than we think and those that are in power, even some of those that have supported the president in the past, take their oaths seriously and don’t condone this behavior. The fact that the Joint Session of Congress came back to voting to confirm President Biden shows resilience. I find commendable that several of the members of Congress changed their vote to confirm Biden. Those that stood their ground and voted against this should be ashamed of themselves and I hope this is a permanent stain on your political career that never goes away. Morality, decency, and unity are the American way, not partisanship, loyalty to demagoguery, and thirst for power.

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