Yesterday, 6 January 2021, was a day that will certainly go down in history, but not for the right reasons. At the Capitol building, Congress was having a joint session to confirm the electoral votes for President-Elect Joe Biden.
Around 2 pm EST, The day took a terrible turn for the worst when hundreds of Trump supporters arrived and stormed the Capitol building, which resulted in the death of four people. They broke through barricades that were erected around the perimeter of the building, forcing members of Congress to flee and Vice President Mike Pence to be escorted to a secure location. D.C. National Guard was activated to quell the mob that was encroaching on Washington’s legislators.
This crowd broke into the Capitol building and even made it to the Senate chamber doors before being stopped by armed guards who had barricaded the doors from the inside. Tear gas was released into the crowd and the members of Congress remaining indoors were told to put gas masks on.
America was stunned to see their capitol building, the symbol of democracy and equality, threatened in such a violent way.
Indeed the world watched with horror at the events of this besiege. Leaders from the UK, Germany, and other countries condemned the attacks, given that America is supposed to be the leader of democracy. What happened?
President Trump had been saying for weeks that the election had been stolen, which is what he tweeted out during the protest while asking his supporters to go home.
There has been a bevy of allegations in the last couple of months of mass voter fraud which have left a bitter taste in the mouth of his supporters. It gave the sense that our democratic way of life has been left in the dust. While no proof has surfaced of wide spread voter fraud, the pockets of “miscalculations” are enough to cause suspicion for some. These actions tonight reveal that those supporters believe him to be the legitimate President.
Now I think it is safe to say that the events of today are tragic, unprecedented, uncalled for, and even treasonous. BUT, we need to remember whom these Trump supporters learned this from.
After the tragic death of George Floyd, violence broke out around the United States, and then around the world. What was first a stand for racial justice and equality quickly turned into mob violence that turned cities into ash heaps.
Buildings were vandalized, looted, and lit on fire. Business owners were stampeded, trampled, and beaten. Police officers were assaulted, killed, and berated. Statues were torn down, the white house was threatened, and city centers were turned into hundred day socialistic hell holes.
People were told to barricade themselves indoors because of Covid-19. Those who assembled peacefully were scorned as modern Nazis who wanted grandma to die. Yet Black Lives Matter and Antifa revolutionaries were allowed to seek, kill, and destroy whatever they pleased.
I am not saying that what happened was acceptable. In fact I am saying the EXACT OPPOSITE. This is the United States of America and we should NEVER see our Capitol building or the White House attacked. President Trump should have done a lot more than tell people to go home.
What I am saying is this. There is one group of people that was denigrated and disparaged for peacefully voicing their concerns (until Wednesday) while another was championed and celebrated for committing arson, vandalism, murder, assault, and rape.
It should not have occurred, but do you wonder why these Trump supporters stormed the Capitol? Because they learned from the last few months that if you want to get attention and make your point, violence is the only answer. Violence is not the answer and we need to hold everyone equally accountable.
History is the story of cause and effect. Wednesday was the effect caused by letting criminals run the streets and celebrating them as heroes.
So what was the Bastille and how does it relate to today?
Let us journey back to 18th century Paris. Paris was at the breaking point. The people had been starving while the king and queen stuffed themselves. There was political unrest due to various circumstances and they hated the fact that Louis XVI had tons of troops living in and around Paris.
This led Parisians to march on the Hôtel des Invalides. The Hôtel des Invalides, or simply, Les Invalides, was created to house disabled veterans that fought for Louis XIV. On July 14, 1789, a mob of Parisians looted Les Invalides and stole approximately 3,000 firearms and five canons.
After acquiring their armaments, they stormed the Bastille, which was a royal fortress and a prison that many associated with the tyranny of the monarch. Bernard-René Jordan de Launay, the governor of the Bastille, surrender the Bastille and was murdered by the mob.
The events of July 14, 1789, have collectively become known as the Storming of the Bastille and it is widely recognized to be the beginning of the bloody and vicious French Revolution.
The Parisians were under immense stress due to many reasons and Americans are under stress for many reasons. The people who stormed the Capitol building today did so unabashedly and so did the Parisians. Somebody ended up dying on July 14, 1789, and four people died at the Capitol. The mob that attacked the Capitol building may not have done so with 3,000 firearms and five cannons, but they likely did so with the same fervor as the Parisians.
Will we descend into utter darkness?
Will we have our own guillotine dripping with the blood of angry men? Will we have our own Committee of Public Safety ruling our Reign of Terror?
I hope not, but what today showed us is that we must begin holding everyone accountable.
We must respect the voices of everyone, even those we disagree with.
We must treat everyone with dignity, even those deemed undesirable.
We must hear out and debate the opinions of others instead of labeling them as “hate speech.”
We must call a crime a crime, no matter who commits it!
We must uphold law and order.
We must abide by and defend the Constitution.
We must begin to let freedom reign…otherwise terror will.