The scenes from Washington, DC yesterday were incredible: Americans storming the US Capitol in an attempted coup to overturn the results of the November presidential election.
It was shocking to see hordes of Americans acting as domestic terrorists–knocking down barriers, roaming through the Capitol freely, breaking windows, and carrying the Confederate flag into the building for the first time in history.
Call it insurrection, incursion, sedition, treason–what happened yesterday was unacceptable.But it should not have been a surprise.
Donald Trump has been telegraphing for months that he would not accept the results of the election should he lose. He held rallies to pump up his supporters and strong-armed members of Congress to try to override the will of the voters. Yesterday, he told protesters to march to the Capitol and use strength to take back the country–which is exactly what they did.
Too many people didn’t want to see the writing on the wall. The mayor of DC had asked for National Guard protection, but the Guard didn’t arrive until Mike Pence summoned them hours later. The police detail around the building was just a fraction of that deployed when Black Lives Matter held a peaceful protest last year–which highlights the level of racism fomenting in this country.
There are many lessons that should be learned from what happened yesterday. To start, we need to heed the words of the late Maya Angelou:
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
If we had, we might be in a much better place this morning.
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