January 6th, 2021: Rioters Storm the U.S. Capitol

Photo by PartTime Portraits on Unsplash

In elementary school — you hear about slavery — but not that it was bad. Sometime or somewhere else, whether it be another grade, from your parents, or the internet if you’re young enough, you learn slavery was a form of evil by entitled people who got away with it as long as they could.

If you’re a decent human — you learned of it and thought: “Wow — people were sh*t back then. How could they let that happen?”

But someday — A few generations from now (at least), there will be a people who say that about us. They will hear the things Trump did, read the things Trump tweeted, and January 6, 2021 will make it into history books about how Trump incited a coup on the United States of America. That’s what this time will be remembered for. They will see us as dirty people who let this happen.

Thousands of far-right extremists stormed the U.S. Capitol today to protest Joe Biden’s presidential election win — more people it seemed than even showed up for Donald Trump’s inauguration.

I watched the news as I tried to get through meetings at work. During one meeting with a colleague, my demeanor must have been off, because she asked me if I was unsettled by client feedback I had just received. The feedback wasn’t good or bad, but our client wanted us to offer a larger variety of services with more detailed processes. My colleague thought I took it personally.

Far from it.

While CNN played in the background, I was already so far low, and my client’s feedback had me wondering how someone could have the energy to granulate stages of a legacy production process while our fellow Americans destroyed the U.S. Capitol and tried to kill Democracy at the order of our President.

I worked a couple more hours before I couldn’t take it anymore. I walked the ten feet to my bedroom to lie down. Oh the perks of quarantine…

I spent hours laying in bed, unable to vocalize what I was feeling. I tried. I asked myself again and again. But this is too foreign. An attempted coup. For an election that has been proven again and again is legitimate. I watched every video. We watched it. We watched Trump’s assailants scale the Capitol’s barricades. We watched them break windows to get inside. And we watched them sit in the seat and put their feet on the table that belonged to the Minority Speaker. We watched them mock the seat of the Vice President of the United States. We saw them attack police officers and security for no reason — because the election has been called. The ballots have been counted and re-counted, and re-counted again, and then sent to judges to fight the results, only to be rejected because the outcome was still the same. But the President of the United States of America is so pathetic that he has been begging his supporters to fight this for the rest of his life because he’d rather watch a nation crumble by extremists than take the L.

I couldn’t find words inside to describe these feelings, so I looked for them on the internet. I scanned Twitter and deep dove into each of the trending topics. “Treason.” “Sedition.” “#whiteprivilege.” If you don’t know how to feel, you look on social media and someone will tell you how to feel.

Most of what I found was …just more anger. I stayed away from right-wing social media because I couldn’t stand to see more support of this. I went in circles over this beleaguered country, how I don’t do enough to create peace, how I don’t know how, and how even if I tried, changing the opinions of brutes to not be brutes is impossible. And I thought simply how much I hate Ted Cruz.

I’m angered and insulted that it has gone this far. I find our President pathetic in every way — almost as pathetic as his two sons, who stoke him like the dying fire of his presidency that will burn out in 13 days no matter what. (I’m sorry to fire for the insult.)

I randomly just read Steve Martin’s book, “Born Standing Up.” In one part, he discusses his fame and the increasing sizes of his comedy show crowds (Trump would be very jealous). As the crowd sizes increased, he stopped trying new bits, and started doing the same routine over and over, because that’s what the crowd wanted and what they responded well to. He likened it this phrase. “You don’t go to an Elvis Presley concert for the songs. You go for Elvis Presley.”

This is what the rioters we saw on T.V. see in Donald Trump. He is not a president to them. He is their God, a demagogue. They beg for his love just as much as Donald Trump begs for power, as much as the faithful rely on their God to protect them from a valueless existence. Both Trump and his rioters will lie, cheat, and burn the house down so long as they make noise. It’s not even about winning. As we saw today, there was no plan. There were no demands. There were no rights that had been stripped away from them. They were not suffering inequality in anyway. They were simply rejects that wanted revenge for the way the mainstream media they swallow makes them feel on a regular Tuesday afternoon.

I write this mostly to release the frustration, anger, and loss I feel. I’m searching for the words as I write them. But thoughts you write down don’t always account for how you feel. Thoughts can lead you astray. They can be poison. Therefore, I cannot take this anger as truth. I take the hope I had yesterday into tomorrow while I brace for the next few weeks. In the meantime, I write to relay the thoughts of the day. They are now an account of history — the day democracy was threatened by American terrorists, in my lifetime, while we are plagued by a global pandemic.

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