The Events of January 6, 2021: My Response

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AFP via Getty Images

(Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Yeabsira Getachew, Salina Petros, Rasmin Islam, Devin Etta, Harkiran Loh, Wynona Patterson, Michael Taylor, Lindsay Labady, Tshilanda Kabasela, & Amina Hall, Staff Writers

Mainstream writers took some time to offer their response to the events that took place in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, January 6th. 

It’s weird seeing things you’ve heard about in the past play out in front of you. Growing up I’ve always heard about the discrimination people of color have faced and the privilege that comes with being white. We learned that in the 1960s, black civil rights protesters had fire hoses turned on them and were maced and harassed. Now, I’ve seen this with my own eyes. I now can compare how the police and government officials reacted to the BLM movement vs the “Save America” protest of January 6th. It’s so sad to see that this is a real thing. People who were protesting because they didn’t like the new president elect were treated better than people who were fighting for basic human rights. This country is embarrassingly racist. I hope in the future that my generation can make it a better place with actual liberty and justice for all.

We live in a society where black people are killed for being black, and white people can break into and vandalize government buildings on camera and leave with no punishment. It’s sick. 

Another thing that strikes me is individualism. The Black Community doesn’t get that. Take for example CNN writer Harmeet Kaur’s article on the BLM protests. She writes, “About 93% of racial justice protests in the US since the death of George Floyd have been peaceful and nondestructive…” The fact that about 7% of BLM protests were deemed as non-peaceful protests but we are all seen as thugs whenever we get violent is nonsensical. Meanwhile the majority white rioters who brought rifles to this protest and stormed the Capitol don’t have to worry about their reputation. To make matters worse, the government won’t do anything about the “No-Maskers” who were all over the city and all over the Capitol. The virus is spiraling out of control but on Wednesday they didn’t do anything about those conservative maniacs roaming around with no masks and endangering everyone around them. It’s like they want to face oppression. They want to “free their face” as if a mask is not saving a life. This president is clearly not fit to run this country, and the country is in shambles because of his terrible leadership. We are the laughing stock of the world. I hate it here.

Yeabsira Getachew, grade 9

 

It’s one thing to be taught about racism and injustice in school from a textbook, but it’s a completely different experience when you witness it happening right before your very eyes. Our ill-behaving president refers to weary BLM protestors who have had enough of mistreatment by our nation as “thugs,” “terrorists,” and “anarchists,” but calls his white supporters, those who swarmed into the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6th like maddening flies, “very special.” This is America. A grown man, who will be forever marked as the 45th president of the United States, manipulated so many people with lies, conspiracies, and falsehoods. Trump, a man who could not accept his presidential defeat, is responsible for this awful event. Many have been left speechless, disgusted, and sick to their stomachs. The true nature of America has unfolded before us all.  

Salina Petros, grade 12

 

January 6, 2021. Seeing this date induces a whirlwind of anger, disgust, and horror within the millions of Americans who watched a historic moment unfold from their digital screens. Historic in a disheartening way, I must add. Only six days into the new year and it seems that the evils of 2020 have chosen to follow us. The breaching of The Capitol was not only an attack on democracy but a symbol of the severe division our country currently faces. How was a federal building like the Capitol so easy to gain access to? Why wasn’t law enforcement more prepared for such an incident? If the “protesters” had been supporters of the Black Lives Matter Movement, would there have been a different response from the police? Truthfully, we already know the answers to these valid questions. 

It is time for us to address and fix the issues that exist inside those answers. The people responsible for initiating this act of domestic terrorism must be held accountable. The security of federal buildings must be improved and the safety of government officials must be ensured. The difference in law enforcement conduct toward members of different races must be stopped. As we approach the start of a new presidential administration, I am hopeful that America will finally receive the change it has needed for quite some time. This event will serve as fuel to inspire growth and healing in our society as we move forward together. Enough is enough. Let us begin a new chapter of uplifting historic moments. Let us restore the notable American reputation. 

Rasmin Islam, grade 11

 

I am not surprised about the events that took place on January 6, 2021. All of my youth I’ve been taught about the past problems American society faced, and in recent years have experienced the issues that still reside in our society. When Black Lives Matter protesters were marching and protesting for the human rights of Black people in the summer, we were met with violence and weapons by the police and military. When Trump supporters were rioting and breaching the Capitol building, the police didn’t keep the same energy. I find it funny how the same people who were criticizing BLM and calling us “thugs, looters and rioters”, did the exact thing they were shaming, rioting and looting. 

These white supremacists weren’t fighting for their natural rights, they were fighting for their privilege and power. It reminds me of how these same people have protested against masks in gun-toting rallies during this pandemic. They are afraid of losing power. Leaders like Trump fueled this false idea of white supremacy and power and now America is self-destructing over racism.  But to blame this all on Trump is a cheap excuse. I’ve heard people say, “this is not a reflection of America,” or “this is not who we are.”  But to be honest, this is America; this is who we are. Historically, America has been a country of white entitlement, violence, and division. Slavery, genocide, the confederacy, and war – these are part of our history. Trump is just a manifestation of all the hate American society has indulged in for centuries. There is no time to be blind as it will only lead to more corruption. We need to acknowledge and live in our truth in order to get better.

Devin Etta, grade 11

 

We have been hearing and seeing everywhere how Trump supporters went barbaric in the Capitol, and it is true, they did go wild. They were furious that Biden won the election, so they went to the capital while congress was certifying the results to “protest.” But it wasn’t a protest, it was a riot. People were destroying the Capitol by breaking doors and windows, stealing items, and vandalizing. Some were seen going through Nancy Pelosi’s mail and leaving threatening messages including one that said, “We will not back down.” One person took a selfie with a police officer, an officer who, reportedly, did not get in trouble for it. If someone from the Black Lives Matter protest even tried that, the officers would have been arresting and hurting them. This says a lot about the police force and we need to change it.

The day went too far on many levels and left five people dead. Four Trump supporters and one Capitol police officer died because Trump supporters were worried about the wrong things. Trump responded after the riot on his Twitter account posting “Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem. I immediately deployed the National Guard and Federal law enforcement to secure the building and expel the intruders. America is, and must always be a nation of law and order.” The shocking part really is that Trump was not the one to deploy the national guard and federal law enforcement – it was Vice-President Mike Pence. This is not what America is supposed to be; it is what bad leadership and corruption create. We need to stop for a second and look at the fires that are around us.

Harkiran Loh, grade 9

 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 was a day that left the country shocked. Everyone looked at their screens to take in the sight of domestic terrorists raiding the Capitol. Trump flags replaced the star spangled banner that we all know. The signs of warning had been there for months and then unfolded right before our eyes. From the sad excuse of debates during the campaign to false claims of voter fraud to barely an armed guard in sight of the Capitol, it was all set up to happen. People were quick to point out the hypocrisy of this situation as armed terrorists stormed into a building full of politicians with just a few guards pushing them back. Some officers even posed for selfies. Meanwhile, peaceful BLM protesters walking down streets this summer were greeted by the national guard and bullets. I pray for things to improve with the new administration and a change of leadership. I hope the nation knows that the right leadership is in place. We all need to come together to help make this country right. 

Wynona Patterson, grade 12

 

Dear U.S. Senators and Representatives:

The events on January 6th are the direct result of you supporting the efforts of an unfit president who wished to overturn a fair and democratic election. For those who challenged the validity of the electoral votes, you are also complicit and responsible for the domestic terrorist attack that put our democracy under threat. By continuing to spread rumors of fraud and inauthenticity, you created the perfect environment for ignorance and bigotry to fester.  

The devaluing of truth and order is what caused those rioters to flow over the capital. In a way it is justice for the corruption and apathy our elected officials have shown time and time again. January 6th was the culmination of the republican party’s efforts to keep the people of the United States divided. This entire episode was the trash of the republican party washing back on their shore. If our elected officials cannot see past their own greed to protect the country they serve, we must change our government through lawful means as our constitution allows.  

Michael Taylor, Grade 12

 

America was a mess yesterday, a disappointing mess that showed how unfit our current president is for his position. Yesterday made many Americans embarrassed to live in this country and proved that white privilege is still very prevalent in this country. Yesterday, all of us – the citizens of the United States – saw Donald Trump at his worst and most dangerous. His egotism and lack of self-control led to this horrible incident where his supporters broke into the U.S Capitol.

America was already the laughing stock of the world after he got elected president and now, after this incident, citizens and leaders of other countries are starting to feel pity for us. Also, the white privilege that was on display yesterday was disgusting. Those rioters (mostly white), made it into the U.S Capitol, defaced it, robbed it, and threatened to hurt people until Trump was confirmed president again. The police response was tepid at best. This was horrific when compared to the harsh tactics taken against the peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters over the summer who got shot at, run over, tear-gassed, received brutal beatings from the police, and got called thugs. This severe treatment was quite the contrast to the Capitol rioters, who got barely any consequences. I just hope when Joe Biden becomes president on January 20th, 2021, America can move past this and become reunited and sane again.   

Lindsay Labady, grade 9

 

This is America

What happened on Wednesday, January 6th, 2020 was a disgrace. It would be an absolute challenge to describe the amount of incompetence displayed on national television. A high-end security building was able to be breached with as much ease as going into a classroom. 

What millions of people saw was the inability of the government to protect and serve the American people and their buildings of honor. It was like watching an action movie set in the future to remind people what happens when people are not satisfied with their government. Except it’s not fiction. This was not a protest, this was an unlawful riot that was ALLOWED to happen. This was not the PEACEFUL protests for BLM. There were five times as many arrests made during the peaceful protests in the summer of 2020 for the rights of POC than there were for this mob of sore losers who lost their president. 

It makes you think: if this many people were able to breach the United States Capitol building, what will happen if they decide to move their blind and senseless anger to the White House? 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Tshilanda Kabasela, grade 9

 

Honestly, I have no real statements to make about Wednesday. It was dumb and unacceptable. That’s all there really its to it, and honestly, it’s kind of a good thing it happened. Now people can really see how bad Trump really is. He was basically telling them “yeah, go in the Capitol; most of the US will think you’re stupid, but I appreciate you guys fighting for me.”

On top of that, a good amount of republicans even thought it was a terrible act. That’s why some of Trump’s own cabinet officials have resigned. That’s why Mike Pence isn’t speaking to Trump. He had already told him he lost the election and that he can’t and won’t do anything to change the results. What needs to happen is Trump needs to stop being a sore loser and get over it. Face it, you lost; if you really wanted to win you would have become a better person for the people of your country. 

Amina Hall, grade 9