Over its first few days, 2021 has hit the ground running, making the unprecedented a precedent again. Personally, I don't know anyone who would defend the actions of the domestic terrorism that occurred in our nation's capital yesterday but I am certain that I know countless people who are ready to make excuses for it.
This event will go down in infamy, hopefully putting an endcap on a tumultuous time rather than kicking off another round of insane events for another calendar year. But what will the history books say about this event? Will we look back and question the apparent racial bias of the lack of force used on a crowd that was predominately white following months of tweets threatening that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." Will the history books mention how the world watched as the US Capitol building was vandalized and criminals took control of the Senate chamber? Will they mention that companies such as Facebook and Twitter chose to silence the most powerful man in the free world in the interest of national safety saying:
“We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.” -Mark Zuckerburg, CEO of Facebook
Will our children's children be left to wonder why a mob of people carried out such an attack that resulted in a deadly afternoon of anarchy. Will the history books share in a sense of confusion, much like Oklahoma Senator (R) James Lankford, in expressing shock as to how and why this happened?
"Why in God's name would someone think attacking law enforcement and occupying the United States Capitol is the best way to show that you're right. Why would you do that?" - Sen James Lanford
Will historians link the events of yesterday to the call to action by several officials minutes before their ambush of the Capitol? Guiliani demanded "trial by combat" to settle this election. The mob was further inspired by Trump's warning that "you will never take back our country with weakness."
But while we wait to see how this day will be reflected in our history books, there is one lie that is being circulated and gaining traction. One lie that has no political party. Republicans and Democrats, alike, are allowing themselves to believe that this type of behavior is "Un-American" but currently nothing seems more American.
"That was not American, not democracy." - Rep Reed condemns attack on US Capitol
This is the America we have built, the America we have allowed to happen. We have watched in silence, made excuses for, and even enabled this America. This is the new American, a belief that when someone disagrees with us, they must be wrong or weak and combat is the dignified response to settle a dispute. Intimidation, threats or physical violence have become the American way. In many ways, we are returning to our roots; if you don't like the laws just ignore them, and as Trump inspired the crowd yesterday, "fight like hell. If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."
These criminals, domestic terrorists, these Trump-named "patriots" are demonstrating their very American right to insult anyone with a differing opinion, to bully their way into getting their way and ignoring facts and laws that are in place while disregarding the safety and wellbeing of others. If actions reflect leadership, these seem to be the most American traits I can think of, at least for the next 13 days. For those of you who may not like this new shade of patriotism, I call you to change it.