Three from our Informer news staff share their reactions.
Elianna Alcantar Vega
I have been trying to write about the events that took place yesterday for the last couple of hours now, but there are no words to describe the way I am currently feeling. Someone once told me that the “writer’s brain is their hands”. So, here I am trying my best to make sense, in words, the way I am feeling using language that is appropriate.
I am in disbelief. I am disappointed. I am embarrassed. I am furious. The international eyes were on America yesterday, we let everyone down. We were taken advantage of, we looked like a fool. How dare we promote democracy when the events that took place yesterday was everything but that. Terrorists took to our nation’s Capitol and only 26 arrests were made.
Before I begin, I want to clarify the difference between the right to protest and terrorism. The dictionary defines protest as “an expression or declaration of objection, disapproval, or dissent, often in opposition to something a person is powerless to prevent or avoid”. The dictionary defines terrorism as “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purpose.” Not only do they have two different means, the right to protest is protected under the first amendment in the United States Consitution not terrorism. If you are unable to establish the difference between the two, please get educated. Protest is right, terrorism is hate. It is as simple as that. There is no in between, no gray area. Please stop acting like there is. The events that took place on January 6, were fueled by lies, anger, hate, and Donald Trump.
There have been several times Trump has called the election that took place in November of 2020 an unfair, false election, but the only false thing about this election was Trump’s hair. Trump has yet to go through the phases of loss or he’s stuck on step one: DENIAL. In the process of denial Trump has created a group of hate-filled monsters more known as a white supremacy.
This white supremacy group or I’d like to call them terrorists were treated as if they were welcomed into our nation’s beloved, sacred Capitol. It is the fact that when it came to the Black Lives Matter Movement we were welcome with rubber bullets, guns, tear gas cans, and bloodshed. And I know for a fact that we were welcomed with rubber bullets, guns, tear gas cans, and bloodshed and much more because of the color of our skin, white privilege is a real thing! I could not imagine the massacre that would have taken place if it was the Black Lives Matter activists storming up the steps of the Capitol, into the chambers, sitting on Nancy Pelosi desk, ruining offices, and taking confidential information. But it is because of the color of my skin or any color beside white the outcome would be different and will always be different. When are we going to become a nation in which we respect and honor the differences in our pigment, our different ethnicities, our different backgrounds. When will racial profiling end. Arrests need to be made and these white supremacy groups who called themselves Proud Boys or the KKK need to be held accountable for their actions. Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for his actions. It is embarrassing being broadcasted on international television, letting other nations watch how weak and divided our nation really is.
I could go on, but I will have to stop. But before doing so, I will call out Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell and every Republican who stood by or stands with Donald Trump. How dare you, hide yourself. How much of a coward are you? You told these white supremacist to believe the lies Trump was feeding them. You led them straight inside the Capitol, and you had the audacity to hide. No! It’s more embarrassing only supporting Trump because you want to see the presidency one day and hope that his followers will like you. Maybe the next time you vote against pasting stricter guns, you will consider the lockdown you experience because this is a what a normal day in America public school has to go through.
Watching the news last night made me feel embarrassed and ashamed of my country. To be completely honest, I try to be unbiased as possible when researching both candidates. I had hope for President Trump to act in a civilized manner but after yesterday I felt complete shock for how bad our country had gotten. The fact that he supported them and how the police officers treated these rioters were completely embarrassing and shows no respect for our nation. I was absolutely shocked when I first saw videos of what was happening through social media. Talking about it with my family members at the dinner table was a congressional feeling of shame and disappointment in our current President. I do agree with Mr. Kristof’s views of the double standards of how African Americans have been treated in our nation when compared to white supremacists and Trump supporters. There is a clear difference that is explicit and I like to think that if the roles were switched with Black people or African Americans storming the Capitol the response of security and officers would’ve been completely different. Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept the election results stirred up doubt between his supporters and an ultimatum that he had won regardless of the evidence and facts. Although I have heard a couple of Republicans that support President Trump’s claim, I believe that there are many that refuse or have no choice but to follow his claims but deep down know the real issue. Yes, I believe that Mr. Trump should have condemned the violence at the Capitol more quickly and forcefully. This would have made a significant difference as his supporters would’ve realized that their “leader” has admitted his faults and does not agree with their actions. By sending sentimental videos, these domestic terrorists believe that they can do whatever they want in the sacred areas that are a symbol of peace and prosperity. I feel disappointment in the way President Trump handled this riot as it was not a revolution or a protest but a coup barging in sacred buildings. Moreover, I also feel shame for officers who did not react until much later after members of the mob had completely terrorized the Capitol and sitting wherever they wanted with glass shattered over the floors. This election season has been stressful and with the addition of Covid-19 Americans have been dealing with difficult emotions. I however believe that America will recover with proper actions taken and still have hope for our people with one example of the releasing of President Trump calling Georgia officials to add in more votes for him. I do agree that President Trump should be removed. This could have been a normal calm transition of power, but because of his immature pride, violence was initiated in the Capitol leaving Americans in shock and disgust. I believe that these events foreshadow anger in the upcoming months when the transition of power to Joe Biden. I feel that our nation will reconsider electing Presidents from now on and voter security will increase.
As my family and I were sitting at the dinner table, we witnessed our nation begin to crumble on the TV. Hundreds of people were storming the Capitol, all bolstered by Trump’s refusal to concede the presidency, leaving lawmakers cowering in the basement and police struggling against white privilege and being overrun. I was shocked to say the least; I never expected Trump supporters to take it this far. My main question to those who joined this rally is why? Why continue to believe Trump when he spouts how there were thieves when there is no proof? Why fight against the democratic ideals of the nation by refusing to believe the election results? It terrifies me to know that I am growing up in a nation that is starting to break apart from the inside. I’m scared to see what will happen when Mr. Biden steps into the presidential office, and I’m scared at how America will fit in the new world.
What happened at the Capitol was not the freedom of protest; it was an abuse of an American right. By no means should protestors make their way into the Capitol and endanger lawmakers and other government officials, and by no means should they have been egged on by the President. Mr. Trump and his fellow Republicans have been spouting unsubstantiated claims about how the election was “stolen” ever since the election results were announced, and now we must face the consequences. Their willingness to believe lies and to push democracy aside is, in all honesty, the main reason why the violence at the Capitol even occurred. They are responsible for causing chaos and fear within America. What depresses me now is that the world can now see how broken America is, and how we have fallen so far from being the greatest nation in the world. And maybe it is too late, but Republicans need to condemn this act of violence. I know we can’t rely on the president to condemn these undemocratic acts, so it is on the shoulders of other Republicans.
One has to wonder how these protestors stormed the Capitol when the police force has been known to stop large protests for the Black Lives Matter movement. Mr. Kristof made a point in his Times article about the “stark double standard” evidenced by the minimal police response. The very fact that these Trump supporters were able to invade the Senate and House chambers while protestors marching on the street for BLM were doused in tear gas and rubber bullets sends a strong message about America: law enforcement only cracks down on protestors who are Black or are protesting on behalf of racial justice. When studying history, I thought racism and privilege were archaic topics that had no place in this modern time. Now, I know that these horrible ideas are ingrained within our very society today, and that makes me terrified.
This event is foreshadowing a greater divide within America. Our democratic ideals are barely holding the nation together, and I think we soon will be facing an inner crisis. In the end, the protest did not stop Mr. Biden’s ascension to the presidency, but I know the violence will continue. Our nation has toppled over the brink of chaos, and we are experiencing a ravage storm that is tearing apart families. Like Chuck Schumer said: “January 6th, 2021 will live forever in infamy.”