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Let’s Talk About What Happened Yesterday

When I woke up this morning…

I thought for a second that maybe it was all a bizarre dream. A mob of pro-Trump extremists storming the Capitol and smashing windows to climb inside, while members of Congress, journalists and support staff ran to hide under chairs and tables? “People are crying,” journalist Olivia Beavers live-tweeted from inside the building during the attack. “I can’t fully relay right now how fear is coursing through the House right now as the sound of gas masks are being unwrapped.”

But yesterday, it really happened: MAGA-hat-wearing men and women vandalized offices and took photos of themselves climbing on statues and desks. A police officer was caught on tape taking a selfie with a rioter. It took hours for National Guard troops to be deployed; since President Trump wasn’t going to do that, Vice President Pence stepped up to give the order.

“It’s like watching a real-life horror movie. I mean, we train and plan and budget every day, basically, to have this not happen,” Kim Dine, who was chief of the Capitol Police from 2012 to 2016, told the Washington Post.

By the end of the attack, only 30 people were arrested — charged with offenses like carrying a pistol without a license and unregistered ammunition — while hundreds were allowed to leave with nothing but a warning. Did you see the video of a woman being gently helped down the Capitol steps by a riot police officer? Meanwhile, Trump tweeted, “We love you. You’re very special.”

Why weren’t more people arrested? Kris Kanthak, a political science professor at the University of Pittsburgh, says she expects many of the rioters to be arrested over the next week; and the FBI is seeking information and tips. It seems crazy to me that more people weren’t arrested last night. As I told Alex, if a mob had broken into an Anthropologie store, they’d have been immediately arrested — but not the Capitol?

White privilege, of course, is the answer. Ja’Mal Green, a Chicago-based activist, told the New York Times: ‘We all know if Black Lives Matter would have stormed the Capitol, there would have been deadly force used to protect that building…We today saw what it means for white people to have the privilege.”

Senate aides escorting the electoral ballot boxes to be counted.

Thankfully, after the attack, Congress gathered together, shaken, to confirm the election of President-Elect Joe Biden. And, looking ahead, Georgia activist and national hero Stacey Abrams tweeted, “While today’s terrible display of terror and meanness shakes us, let’s remember, @ossoff, Jewish son of an immigrant & @ReverendWarnock, first Black Senator from Georgia, will join a Catholic POTUS & the first woman, Black + Indian VP in our nation’s capital. God bless America.”

What are your thoughts? How are you doing? Sending the biggest hug to those who need one.

P.S. “Five things I want to tell my white friends.”

(Top photo by Jason Andrew for the New York Times; second photo by Andrew Harnik/Associated Press; third photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.)

  1. Lulu says...

    Why is there no outrage for the policeman that shot and killed Ashli Babbitt? Not a word? Protesting something she cares about, she breaks a window and gets shot and killed point blank and not a word. Why is that? We don’t even know the name of the guy do we?

    • Sarah says...

      I think there is a lot of sadness that this woman was so brainwashed by a cult that she thought her only recourse was to join in an insurrection at our Capitol.

      I can’t imagine what her friends and family are going through. To believe so deeply that the former host of the reality show the apprentice is the best hope against a global ring of pedophiles who are powered by Satan is tragic.

      We need to dedicate resources to helping people deprogram from these thoughts. It’s easy to laugh at first but people sincerely believe this.

  2. Hayley B says...

    I thought I didn’t have anything new to add to the conversation here re: the Capitol riots that a hundred more eloquent readers hadn’t already covered, but reports in the aftermath of the violence has shaken/terrified/enraged me all over again. I read in utter disbelief accounts of multiple Republicans throwing tantrums at having to go through the newly erected metal detectors, refusing not just to hand over their GUN but to even open her bag for police (Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.) before entering the House floor, and shoving their way through Capitol police instead of simply going through the security checks, which were out in place for their own good as well, not just the Dems. I’m LIVID at the fact that GOP members sheltering in locked rooms during the riot with Dem colleagues not only refused to wear face masks but openly derided and mocked those who offered them masks, and as a direct consequence many of those sheltering with them in the same room have now tested positive for Covid-19. I’m similarly shocked/saddened by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s damning account about feeling like she was going to die during the siege, and her fear that some Capitol police and members of Congress might actually be encouraging the mob. Some might call that being over dramatic but when a woman says she felt unsafe when brought to a secure room with other lawmakers because she suspected some of them might create opportunities to allow her to be hurt, I believe her, because if anything women tend to play down their instincts when it warns them of imminent danger. I’m furious that Republicans are still peddling Trump’s myths of a stolen election/refusing to distance themselves from his radioactive bile, and went so far as to try to block Biden’s election certification (Cruz, Hawley). Honestly, how does one even begin to try to work with these people, when you can’t even feel safe being in the same room with them? And these GOP reps are elected officials entrusted with legislative powers, who are supposed to have taken an oath of office. How can people ever trust them to work for the best interests of the country, when they’re so busy pandering to the whims of a dangerously deluded malignant narcissist? I have no answers but the riots on Jan 6, and the rumours of more violence being planned for Jan 20 during the inauguration, has for me exposed the very depths of Trump’s and his supporters’ depravity, and the ever widening yawning chasm between the left and right. I fear that one Biden term may not be enough to undo all the damage the Trump administration’s willful incompetence, blatantly racist rhetoric, violence-fomenting seditious tendencies and misinformation campaign has wrought.

  3. Annie says...

    Here is the thing, we can understand where they are coming from all we want. But many, MANY of their fears are completely unfounded. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t tried to talk to Trump supporting relatives, speaking calmly while trying to explain why some of their fears are directed towards the wrong people and groups. Yet many of them are unable or unwilling to hear that. They support someone who incited an insurrection, made life immeasurably more stressful, has cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives, and has lied to them an innumerable amount of times. How much longer do we go on trying to understand where they are coming from? Many cannot see to see how Trump’s rehtoric affected marginalized groups, because they don’t experience it. To paraphrase something I read yesterday, it is exhausting to wait for the “right” to have every single human experience in order to gain empathy for others.
    My mother voted for Trump. She is much like your mother in law. One of the most generous people I know. But I scoff at the idea that we are not our political beliefs. How generous and kind are you really when you vote for someone who does so much harm to others? Our political beliefs are a huge part of who we are. I don’t cut ties with my mom, but I do not fault people who decide to take a painful step to cut someone off after years of not being heard. Remember, those who cut ties are not necessarily the ones who did the pushing.

    • Sanaa Rahman says...

      Yes. Thank you Annie

    • Hayley B says...

      Yes 100% this, Annie. People show you who they truly are by their actions and their choices, not their words, and we’d all be better served by believing them when they do. Also, people tend to confuse free speech with hate speech — free speech may be protected by the Constitution, but hate speech is most assuredly not. As pointed out beautifully by Trudy, who commented below, and I quote: “Most people think that the First Amendment protects all speech, but it doesn’t. It protects the right to discuss your ideas with anyone. But when your idea is to organize a group to take violent action, that speech is not protected.” I couldn’t agree more.

    • Kelsi says...

      exactly. The person below is, in a word, wrong. The people who are still clinging to Trump are not people I can understand or keep company with. I have never been one to write people off but this is the year that I have blocked a few on social media and simply stopped talking to. One does not HAVE to give away their emotional energy to bullshit. There is no obligation. A few folks I have dearly loved have gone down the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory, virus denial, and somehow are people of faith who still identify with Trump as a leader. Nope. Sometimes old stories in your life don’t need to continue to be read. You can set boundaries.

  4. IMgr8tful says...

    These comments trouble me to the core for so many reasons.
    The fact that so many smart, compassionate readers who desire unity and peace are willing to cut people they love out of their life or diminish their relationships because of ideological differences doesn’t bode well for people realizing the common ground we share that puts us all on more solid forward-facing footing. As a life long Dem, I feel my fellow travelers don’t always practice what they preach when it comes to tolerance and diversity of thought.
    My mother in law is an old school conservative, avid Fox News watcher. Her views are not mine, but by extending myself to understand the whys, and where she’s coming from and her hopes, fears, and desires for the country I have a wider perspective and compassion. She is not her political ideology. She is a caring, generous, tolerant human being. She is politically suspicious but buys strangers dinner anonymously at restaurants, she does not support same sex marriage in the church, but supports civil union and two of her best friends are a lesbian couple.
    People are not their political beliefs, they are complex multi-dimensional conflicted and inconsistent beings who deserve to be truly heard. Listen for the real meaning beneath what people say. Fear is a very powerful thing, and it leads people to think, say and do things. If you want to get closer to people rather than push them away, ask them what they fear most and why—really push for the emotional truth of that fear, and tell them your fears and why’s. We need less declaiming and more attentive, open, compassionate listening.

    • Kate says...

      I love this ❤️

    • Roxana says...

      YES! ALL OF THIS! Thank you so much for saying this!

    • Julee says...

      “People are not their political beliefs”-
      Thank you for your open-mindedness, and for defending/loving someone you don’t always agree with.
      That’s very American of you.

    • Molly says...

      This. It’s really the only way forward.

    • Adel says...

      Yes!! You said this so well and it’s very expressive of what I feel. Let’s not destroy others for not agreeing with us; listen, and you may be surprised by what you hear. By broadly painting all right wing people as fascists and intolerant, we don’t allow ourselves to connect with others, and inhibit ourselves from seeing the beautiful shades of grey that exist in all (or most!) people.

    • ANETA says...

      YES!!!!!

    • Katie says...

      Thank you for this.

    • Monica says...

      YES!!! Could not agree more.

    • Agnès says...

      What do you mean we are not our political beliefs ? We are, absolutely, and that’s really the point of démocracy. From a european reader, your comments scare me.

    • Nicole says...

      As a long time Hill staffer, I worked daily with those on the other side of the aisle. I supported Republican Members and worked with their staff. I was able to see them as people and not their ideology and I have been proud of the bipartisan work my office has done. After last Wednesday, I don’t know that I can continue in the same manner. My friends and colleagues lives were at risk when my place of work – a second home – was attacked. My children went to daycare on the Capitol campus. Can you imagine how those parents felt? I went to work last Friday to see a huge black fence around the Capitol and more National Guard troops than I could count and I still did not feel safe. Jewish staff and staff of color are considering resigning because they do not feel safe. The last thing Congress needs is less diversity. Last week was not ok and we cannot move on and find unity or peace until there is a reckoning with the misinformation, hate speech, and racism running rampant in this country. Unfortunately that also means a reckoning for “nice” conservatives who helped Trump take power, elected officials who perpetuated gerrymandering, and supported politicians who work to disenfranchise voters. They are guilty of allowing January 6th to happen as well.

    • Stephanie says...

      I agree with Agnes. Don’t infantilize people. Trump supporters are their political beliefs. Think about how you want to treat them in light of that.

    • em says...

      this is a nice sentiment, but respectfully, there’s a difference between accepting that others’ opinions or values are different and realizing that someone you love has bought into misinformation and conspiracy theories. you can have debates with the former but you cannot reason with the latter because logic is out the window if you cannot agree on basic facts. some of us are struggling with the latter. I am doing my homework and reading about misinformation for now -precisely- because I do not want to give up having a non-shallow relationship with my mother.

    • D says...

      Tolerance doesn’t work if the other side is upholding intolerance. Did you see the pictures of the people storming the capital? Several people wearing shirts supporting the holocaust? This is the president’s base. These are the people that the president deems as “special,” and these are the people who your mother has chosen to align herself with politically.

      Read Nicole’s comment. This is truly beyond “let’s just see what the other side has to say.” Clearly, they’re done talking and have moved on to bashing in heads with fire extinguishers. No, I will not give these people a platform, and your mother shouldn’t either.

    • Chuck says...

      Yes! Guess I’ll go on record as saying YES I voted for Trump. I am a nice person. A thoughtful person. A kind person. And, I live in Wyoming where 70%+ of our jobs are energy jobs. Yes, including the dreaded fossil fuels. If Biden and Harris have their way, my family and my friends will be without their jobs. I can’t support anyone who wants to completely ban coal, or oil energy. In Wyoming, we have no other options for jobs! We don’t live in or near, a metropolis where we have “options”. We live hundreds of miles away from big cities. We are somewhat of an island, with very limited job potential. I wish this was different, but these are the facts. It is time we all had a conversation about clean energy AND what do we do about states like Wyoming who DEPEND upon the very fuels that have powered the United States, and the world, for over a century. You cannot just “turn off” the lights, and cross your fingers. We have to have a just, common sense approach to energy. Sadly, the dems just don’t get it.

    • Kelsi says...

      I don’t have tolerance and diversity of thought for white supremacists and my relatives who have “gone there”. Nope.
      Sometimes cutting people off for a time being is a way to set boundaries for one’s own mental health.

  5. Rachael says...

    I am genuinely curious what others here think about the censoring happening within social media and news platforms right now? I absolutely support unfollowing, disagreeing, debating, etc., but erasing people and their voice completely? A high-fitness teacher at my gym had 30k followers, is fairly conservative but I definitely wouldn’t consider her to be extreme or dangerous, and Instagram made it so you aren’t able to search her at all anymore. The only way you can find her profile is if you are following her or if you click on something she is tagged in. Is it for big companies like Instagram, Facebook, etc. to decide what is and isn’t ‘dangerous’ for us to read? I personally believe there is inherent value in differing opinions, perspectives, and viewpoints. As human beings we each have the gift of discernment, a “knowing” within us as Glennon Doyle says of what is our truth. I believe that’s for us to decide. I hope this doesn’t come across as anything but opening a conversation. I am not trying to make some big point here, I am just genuinely curious about how others feel about this.

    • BAC says...

      twitter is reporting there continues to be planning for more violence in the capitol and this is why they are shutting everything down. your 1st amendment rights are only protection from the government. just as COJ reserves the right to take down any comments they find unfitting, twitter, fb et al. can do the same. i’m all for free speech, but not about violence or spreading falsehoods; fairly certain we all are. there are many reputable, truthful news agencies out there that have full access to all social media

    • Julee says...

      I disagree with censoring! It makes me sick!
      As an American, I support free speech
      (But let there be peace, and let it start with me).
      What I fear is becoming surrounded by a bunch of yes men in an echo chamber, so nobody knows what’s real.

    • Madzie says...

      A reply from Canada, but many of the accounts that I follow that support Indigenous sovereignty (and talk about the truth of Canada’s history on stolen land and genocide) have been routinely subject to what Rachael is talking about.

      Just FYI – it may be happening to the conservative / right thought leaders now, but it has been happening for a long time to leftist accounts too – even those that are extremely innocuous (ie personal accounts with few followers, or Indigenous beaders who are selling their work and talking about their own personal experience with systemic racism).

    • ANETA says...

      I was reading in the papers today about the protections around free speech in the US (I am not based in the US, but lived there for several years) and how important these are to democracies.. I can’t square this with the wide-spread censorship with not so much as a conversation involving elected officials or a vote. It seems that companies like FB and Twitter now get to decide who can speak. It’s scary and dangerous territory. Many, many people fought and lost their lives to protect freedom of speech and expression. So many immigrants to the US came to escape being muzzled in their own countries. And now people are being silenced even if they have said nothing bad, simply for being conservative? Can’t see this ending well.

    • Marie says...

      Thank you for bringing this up. Ron Paul, an outspoken critic of Trump, was just censored by Facebook. They didn’t give him a reason, but the last thing he posted was a post linked to an article he wrote denouncing “shocking and chilling” censorship on social media. What is happening? How are people okay with this?

      Also, as much as you might hate Fox News, people watch it because it tells another side of the story. Previously the New York Times was my main news source because we received a free subscription for it through the college my husband works for. I didn’t realize just how bias the media was until I started reading some articles from Fox News too. Fox News is bias, but so is the New York Times. It’s all shameful!

    • Monica says...

      The censoring going on right now is so so scary, and begs the question- who will be next? Diversity of opinion is a GOOD thing, I only wish we all understood the power of opening ourselves up to opinions and conversations that may stretch our worldview.

    • Cheryl says...

      I too felt conflicted with this. But the internet has become a truly dangerous place. We protect our children from it, we try to find ways to filter in our own homes what our brains are exposed to. I’m all for free speech but violence and calls to violence against others goes beyond free speech and the intentions behind that amendment.
      The anonymity it affords to trolls, the platforms it gives to lunatics, the ability to spread conspiracy theories at lightning speed, something has to give, right?

    • Trudy says...

      Most people think that the First Amendment protects all speech, but it doesn’t. It protects the right to discuss your ideas with anyone. But when your idea is to organize a group to take violent action, that speech is not protected. The US Supreme Court decision on this found that a man could not claim his right of “free speech” to protect himself from criminal charges after he yelled “Fire!” in a crowded theater and people were injured trying to escape. So no one can use their words to incite violence or danger in a public place.

      Another area of unprotected speech is business or corporate speech. The businesses where you speak, like Cup of Jo, or Facebook, or Twitter, or a newspaper’s opinion page, have the right to decide what to publish and what not to publish. So if you speak on Facebook, Facebook has the right to take down/not publish your speech. These laws are well established in the US. You can take your ideas to gathering of friends or political allies, but you cannot make businesses publish speech that violates their basic rules or basic legal precepts – such as there being no right to incite violence through your words.

      Here’s the thing about social media – it feels like a free space, but it isn’t. All of the forums are owned by someone and all of them have rules designed to protect their businesses. So if you share your ideas on social media, the sites you use have the right to not publish or take down your posts.

      I loved Constitutional Law at law school….

    • Agnès says...

      It is a fascinating discussion. In France, the freedom of speech is limited: you cannot publish anything that provokes violence, racism, antisemitism or glorify any of these and pedocriminality. How do you determine these? sometimes it is easy, but sometimes there are long discussions at the tribunal. Some writings are not published in France, even from very recognized writers. Like for Céline, some of his antisemitic works are not published in France. It is an ongoing debate. Is it censorship? yes. Just as you wouldn’t allow these actions in your family. we practice censorship every day and it is a good thing.

    • Melissa says...

      Your high-fitness instructor was peddling all sort of misinformation and pushing a false narrative. She was divisive and mocking. She made fun of a speech disability and laughed about dems crying for 4 more years when Trump got elected. And now? She’s a sore loser who is willing to say anything to get out of accepting the fact that this was a free and fair election and her candidate lost. Plain and simple. She’s not a victim here. I don’t think it’s fair to paint her as one.

    • Lindsay says...

      Agnes: in France, Muslims can’t even wear what they choose at the beach. American is very different thank goodness.

  6. cristina perez says...

    Hello COJ, I would like to ask you if it is possible to have more information about Congresswomen. I think we should be closer to the aims of politicians in their daily routine. It is good to see how they try to improve citizens lives. Politics should be real life issues. Not rethorics, not power. Just work.

    • Roxana says...

      Hey Cristina, I agree with you. If it helps, I follow my congresswoman and am on her email list and receive updates that she sends to her constituents. I’ve also had the opportunity to sit in on calls she’s held for her constituents to ask questions of our health officials during the pandemic. Start with your reps maybe? Get on their lists and see what legislation they’re drafting or supporting?

      If it helps, I am a conservative and my congressional rep is a very progressive Democrat (if she were younger she’d probably be part of the “The Squad”), so it’s pretty rare that I find myself agreeing with her. However, it has been eye-opening as I’ve seen her push for (and have applauded her for) common sense legislation. I otherwise wouldn’t have known about her work on this front since it wasn’t the kind of thing that would’ve been plastered all over the media. I’ve seen her working for her constituents. I believe there are elected officials who do work and who are truly interested in representing the people.

  7. Deana says...

    American woman here. Please take heart. Our democracy held, in spite of major efforts to subvert it: The courts threw out Trump’s cases, all states certified the votes, the electors voted with no faithless electors, and election officials, Pence, and even sycophantic Lindsey Graham all held firm against strenuous, strong-arming attempts to overturn the election. Congress reconvened on that very long day, and we will have a new president – a real one this time.

  8. kate says...

    My husband actually had to cut off conversations with his mother because of this. I have no suggestions, only heartfelt sympathy. It’s soul crushing.

  9. SJ Bryan says...

    This event, along with Covid, fires, racism, politics and all the division and hate makes life feel out of control. Reading this post and these comments, makes me more thoughtfully consider these questions for myself:

    1. Where can I donate my time and money to help my family, my neighbors, this world (no matter how small my ability may be)?
    2. What food, water and emergency supplies, & plans does my family need if we have to isolate or even evacuate?
    3. What can I do, how do I need to change, to really hear and listen to others, to be more kind, and have unity in purpose?

    Next up: answering these through action. Repeat.

    • Julee says...

      YES. I ask the same questions as well.

  10. suki says...

    The person they needed to arrest was Trump. How could he jeopardize his own administration by not securing peace immediately via the National Guard? He is a genuinely toxic and dangerous person to have at the helm. I cannot wait for the transition of power to a person capable of Response-Ability.

  11. em says...

    my parents have eaten up the misinformation about this awful event – which I thought was fairly straightforward to understand, but boyyyyy was I wrong – and other current news. COJ community, do you all have tips for how to deal with this?? I had suspicions that this would be an issue until I gently probed a little more, and a little more, and now I am shaking. I do not understand how to have a non-shallow relationship with my mother if we cannot agree on simple facts.

    • Chris says...

      This. Yes, I feel this to my core, Em.

    • Emie says...

      Raising my hand too….

    • Sheri says...

      Oh, Em, I am you. I was of the “don’t talk about it/don’t fight about it” mindset with my parents until just before the election. Then I had it out with my mom (over email, of course – she’s never not an anti-confrontational WASP!), and even though it wasn’t pretty, at least now it’s out in the open that our relationship is what it is, and I attached a solid “why” to it. I’m sad to say I have just accepted that our relationship will always be shallow, and we’ll talk about the weather and the grandkids from here on out. I always wanted a Family Stone-type relationship with my mom, but that just was never our reality. I really do feel better having made it clear that our vastly different morals are the cause. Sending love your way, Em – I hope you find peace in a decision. xo

    • Katie says...

      I can relate. How do we deal with family members who have fallen into this mess, believing the lies? I worry if I cut them out (which is my first instinct), they will become further isolated and radicalized. But conversations seem so fruitless…nothing will convince them. It’s awful.

    • Francesca says...

      Yes, I am in the same boat. I have to alter my relationship with my mom but am struggling with how. I love her – she is a Trumper/Covid-minimizer/Fox News junkie and I’m a Dem/1st line healthcare worker/NYT the daily junkie AND damn do we see the world so differently it’s kinda terrifying. Her thought process is also incredibly binary now (didn’t use to be) and I don’t know if this is the result of age or Fox News or what but any other way of thinking is sharply denounced. Any resources or thoughts are really appreciated.

    • The “You’re Wrong About” podcast did an episode recently on “losing your parents to Fox News” that helped explain a lot of this. I, like so many, am in the same position. My parents and I have wildly different understandings of the world we live in and it’s so hard. It too is trauma. It’s traumatic to see loved ones spew hate. It’s traumatic to have to decide to cut a family member from your life. It’s traumatic to keep trying to have open, rational, empathetic conversations with loved ones only to have them react with emotional, hateful responses.

    • Eleanor says...

      Seconding the recommendation for “You’re Wrong About: Losing your parents to Fox News!” I’m in this boat as well. My mom is one of the most loving and selfless people I know, she gave me her wicked sense of humor, and now she and I can safely converse only about my children and her farm animals. I’ve tried to talk with her about it so many times, and she’s stopped speaking with me for weeks on end. I keep trying, but it’s really taken a toll. Sending love and hope for your relationship with your parents.

    • em says...

      I’ve started to ask some friends, and as with here, it is a small relief (also horrifying) to know that I’m not alone, and this is a widespread problem. my parents are doctors! they are educated! they are asians, and we’ve been targets of racism (“kung flu” etc)! and still. it just pains me so much – I watched gilmore girls in high school (except season 7, obviously) and want a close relationship with my parents. I have read about people cutting off family because of this issue, but like katie, I am worried about them being further isolated/radicalized.

      I’m too heated now to respond to any of the gajillion bs propaganda articles that my mom sent me, so I am cooling off by learning about disinformation- brandy zadrozny did some investigation on this last year with nbc, and I also found articles such as https://gen.medium.com/how-to-talk-to-a-conspiracy-theorist-20122a39ac8a. thank you for the podcast rec, cici! does anyone else have recommendations? any help would be terrific.

    • Jackie says...

      I came on to also say I am also raising my hand as I am in this boat and finding others is comforting knowing I am not alone. My sister and I commiserate on what if we said this or this or this, would that remind them of their values they’ve seem to had brainwashed away? There is no script for this and its hard. A friend in the same situation also alerted me to the podcast “losing relatives to fox news” so I appreciate what little I can find and relate to. I LOVE the Family Stone and yes its sad to think of a surface level only conversations with my parents and just constantly avoiding such important topics seems that much harder.

    • Madzie says...

      @COJ – I’d love to see a series of posts on this – how to talk to you kids about media literacy, and how to talk to your parents about it. How do societies heal? I bet there are a dozen of wonderful readers that focus on that kind of work.

    • Meg says...

      The losses have truly piled up this year. It’s so destabilising. Emotional and relational intimacy with some of the people I love the most is just … gone.

  12. Katey says...

    I was triggered by the images I saw. I use the word triggered knowing full well it refers to a relapse of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, reactions caused by a (or many) previous traumatic event(s). When I was a sophomore in high school Columbine happened. I was nowhere near that school but I soaked in the terror and fear and disbelief, nonetheless. What does yesterday’s siege have to do with school shootings? Apart from my nervous system’s response to the imagery, a lot, actually. Schools, like the Capitol, were built with the pledge to honor the people it served. They were bastions of goodness, ideals, humanitarianism, civic-mindedness; they stood for progress and collective investment in the future. Then, one day, that trusted place became the site of a horror show. Trust was broken by violent, misguided, in some cases severely sick people. That wasn’t the end of it, though. Nobody did anything. Rather, enough people failed to do something. Enough people failed to say “No more of this. Never again.” School shootings continue because of that collective shrug.

    I am afraid–even while I expect it–we will fail to do anything. Criminals will go unpunished. The perpetrators and perpetuators of the lies the perpetrators swallow, will be allowed to carry on. We’ll just turn the page. There will be another collective shrug and we will ask our kids to simply accept terror as part of their lives.

    I must mention, while I’m sharing a strong personal response, I consider it in comparison to the daily terror Black and brown Americans live with. I know there is a difference in duration and extent of this type of trauma. I believe in a better future for all of us. I am working on bringing it forth so kids don’t become numb to terror. I can’t do it alone, though. We need enough people to say “No more. Never again.”

  13. Jamie B says...

    I think congress just got a taste of the terror that teachers and students live with.

    • JenniferinAustin says...

      Whoa. This shook me. So true.

    • Lee says...

      I had the exact same thought Jamie.

    • Emie says...

      Agreed. But will it lead to change?

  14. Vero says...

    This brought up for me your motherhood around the world post where a Black family decided to move their family from America back to Africa because they didn’t want their Black child growing up in this racist festering traumatizing mess that is the United States. That was REALLY eye opening for me. I think that speaks volumes about what America truly is.

    To me this is all about accountability and shadow work. We have to face our darkness, personally and collectively. We have to acknowledge the worst parts of our collective history, to NAME it what it is (white supremacy both in history and as we speak). Only then can we even to begin to think about healing, to begin to pull the roots out of the ground. This would be what Resma Menakem calls “clean pain” vs “dirty pain”. Clean pain is the work we know we need to do that will be painful but worth it. Dirty pain is playing the same old story over again and again, despite all the hurt and refusing to heal.

    • Bethanne says...

      Great thoughts, Vero!

  15. CLK says...

    I have spent the last 4 years writing my GOP senators concerning my fears about White Supremacism as a leading threat to our national security supported by an increasingly unhinged president. I have urged them to use their office and voice to protest his virulent tweets. A newly elected senator from my state is one of the those who stood to oppose the Electoral College vote. His office has already heard from me several times since he took office on January 3. Please keep the pressure on your US Congress men and women to keep our republic safe for everyone. This will not end anytime soon.

  16. Molly says...

    I’ve posted a link to an article that I found very helpful for those of us who are Christians but feel like our “name” has been hijacked by many of these white supremacists and extreme Trump supporters, who call themselves Christians, but as far as I can tell haven’t read the Bible. So far my comments have not been posted. Don’t want to assumed they’re being left off purposely, maybe they just haven’t had time to be reviewed and posted. But I am a little skeptical! I am not posting fake news, but I know that as a conservative evangelical Christian, my views are not popular amongst this crowd. I will tell you, that I have not ever supported Trump! I was not thrilled to vote for Biden, but I did it and I am relieved that change is on the way!

    https://www.rootedministry.com/blog/what-do-we-tell-our-children-about-the-storming-of-the-capitol/

    Again, this article is written to Christians. Particularly Christian parents.

    • K says...

      I am not Christian but I enjoy Christian teachings as a moral guidepost.
      Such as this easy to understand animation about AGAPE love which I find quite relevant:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slyevQ1LW7A
      To skeptics, no I don’t think the point is that you should literally die for the sins of your enemies. But I think at least part of the point is that true love is such a powerful force for you to provide yourself and provide others which in turn fuels the world.

      And as a side note, one I refer to often is this Bible Hub post “What is your Word Worth” :https://biblehub.com/sermons/auth/naylor/what_is_your_word_worth.htm

    • vero says...

      Thanks for your courage in your vote. It’s easy for me to vote liberally because those are my values and almost my whole circle is liberal people with liberal views. So in that sense, my vote is a clear choice with lots of support around me. I have a lot of compassion for people who are having a LOT of grappling to do with their conscience, communities, etc. Thank you for refusing to become polarized and making what I’m assuming was maybe a difficult choice for you to to make with an outcome that is in the best interest of all people, especially the most vulnerable. I appreciate you <3

    • Katherine says...

      Molly, thanks for sharing this. I’ve felt very similar! It broke my heart seeing crosses and Jesus saves signs as a part of this awful act of terrorism & white supremacy. I’m thankful that God is much more powerful than that and pray that people will know that He isn’t about that.

    • MK says...

      Christian privilege is directly connected to white supremacy. I think instead of trying to distance yourself, it’s worth sitting with that for a bit.
      I’m not Christian but I am white, and I am sitting with this discomfort and trying to focus on how to right my wrongs.

    • Molly Witherington says...

      MK. These riots, and racism, ARE directly related to white “christianism”, which is evil and twisted. It is not true Christianity. But it is what white church people used to justify slavery. That’s what I’m trying to distance true Christianity from. If you could read the Bible apart from the bias formed in you, in part by these evil nutsos, I think you might see the true heart of the faith and that it in no way supports the motives of white supremacists. There have been wonderful books written in recent years, by Christians, lamenting what has been done by their own churches in the name of Christ. It is a good movement.

    • Kate says...

      Thank you for your vote, Molly!

    • Claire says...

      I am not evangelical but have been very impressed by some of the shifts happening within the evangelical communities. Lots of positive changes going on. May it continue!

    • Molly Witherington says...

      Also, MK. Even though I argue that “Christian-ism”, not true Christianity is directly related, I want to concede much truth to what you said, bc there is a very blurry line. I have certainly worshiped alongside people who may as well have been slat the riot on January 6. There is a deep and sickening history of racism within my own denomination and my local church. We are grappling with it. We are sitting in it, as you suggested, as we should. It is uncomfortable. But it is necessary. I am currently enrolled in seminary and am taking Minority Church History right now. My eyes are being opened. But I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Christians have not been like our Christ. But I will not let go of Christ and his Word. To that I will cling more desperately as my only hope (and, I believe, the only hope for the world). But, yes. You are right. There is a gross history and it is not all in the past. And us Christians need to acknowledge and sit in it.

    • Brenna says...

      Appreciate your post, Molly. I hope you weren’t censored for any comments like this. If a liberal Christian’s voice might be unwelcome, what about more conservative christian viewpoints? I hope so, so much that it becomes more normal to try to see things from other people’s points of view. Democrats (understandably!) don’t seem to be listening to yelling Republicans and, also understandably, Republicans don’t seem to be listening to outraged Democrats. I wish we all listened to each other more.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh, yes, we approved and pushed through all of Molly’s comments. thank you so much!

    • Molly W says...

      Thanks, Brenna. Don’t think I was censored. I think I was just nervous about my post so I checked way to frequently, as if reading and approving this thing is a simple quick task for Jo and her crew 🤪.
      Also, I do sort of consider myself a conservative Christian. Maybe? I hate the baggage that comes with that word, but I hold to a pretty orthodox view of the Bible. And I have many many friends who believe what I believe and also cannot stand the Donald. I am strongly pro-life, but I don’t villianize folks who are pro-choice bc I realize it is a really sensitive and complicated issue to which there is no easy fix. And I roll my eyes at anyone who thinks that voting for Trump was a pro-life vote. Please. Anyway, I prob need to sign off. I am grateful to this community and the way *most* people read, listen, and consider other viewpoints. I just love Jesus dearly, I can’t get enough of His word – it is my lifeline. And I hate to see His name dragged through the mud by people who stand on a chopped up and piece-mealed version of His word that supports their racist agenda.
      “Some say Christianity is a white man’s religion. And it is true that there is a long and ugly history of abuse of African-Americans at the hands of Euro-American Christians…. but racism is not inherent to Christianity.” -Glenn Usry
      In fact, the Bible offers BY FAR the most compelling argument for equality that I know of.

    • em says...

      for those interested in a well-researched primer on christian nationalism, I would suggest jesus & john wayne by kristin kobes du mez.

    • CandiceZ says...

      Great conversation. Thank you for facilitating. The horror of the attack on the Capitol was earth shattering. It’s still scary as people continue to need to be on guard right now.
      I just wanted to agree that I also think it is terrible and sickening when people (like some of these recent terrorists) claim they are espouse Christian values when they live and preach the opposite. It’s not just Christianity this happens to. Religion is often / has often been misused as a screen for evil, taking advantage of the situation. The snake in the Garden of Eden so to speak. I think it is right and good for people to say, No, that is Not religion, it’s simply evil trying to cloak itself in something respectful so it doesn’t get recognized for what it is. I am thankful for people calling it out. Godwilling, we move as a Country and people towards a healthier and kinder place. The outpouring in response to this has the potential to do much good.

    • MJ says...

      Thank you so much Molly for sharing your faith and for your courage in acting by your faith through your recent presidential vote. Indeed, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Mary Magdalene, and the disciples were most definitely various shades of brown, and quite possibly Black. Christianity has a tradition of portraying Mary as Black (the Black Madonna) in many statues and paintings throughout Christian history. I hope we as Christians will use this opportunity to dig deep into our faith and evangelize the hope, peace and love of Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels, so needed right now. We are all truly one Body. Let’s act courageously in this knowledge.

    • Molly says...

      EM, thank you for the Jesus and John Wayne suggestion. That is going to the top of my list. It’ll supplement my class well, particularly the very good book I’m currently reading, “Free at Last? The Gospel in the African American Experience” by my professor, Dr. Carl Ellis.

    • Roxana says...

      Molly, as a fellow conservative Evangelical Christian I commend you for representing Christ so well on this site! Brava! I have to confess that on this site I have not always represented well.

      I wholeheartedly agree and sympathize with almost everything you say.

      However, I’d like to ask you to rethink rolling your eyes at me or any other fellow believer who voted for Trump on account of his pro-life/anti-abortion policies. I’d like to invite you explore the issue a little further. I think you’ll appreciate the very thorough and thoughtful piece written by Rammesh Ponnuru and Robert P. George entitled Voting for Life. I hope you’ll look it up and I hope it’ll help you gain a greater understanding of how we as Christians can approach the pro-life issue.

      If it helps, I spend a lot of time in the pro-life movement. In fact, it’s kind of my part time job (after being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom; I coordinate our church’s work with several ministry partners that serve vulnerable children locally in Chicago and globally. My work includes, among other things, maintaining our partnerships with pro-life pregnancy centers). I am well aware of the many very real and serious social issues that play into whether a woman chooses to abort her child. Hopefully, it’s obvious that I hold to a very comprehensive view of what it means to be pro-life. I share this to give you a sense of where I’m coming from.

      Be well!

    • M2 says...

      Roxana,

      You aren’t pro-life. You are pro-birth. Those are completely different things. The GOP pushes “family first” and “Pro-Birth” agendas that don’t do anything after a child is born. The GOP Cuts Medicaid, SNAP, low income housing, healthcare, etc. what about the kids taken from their parents and put in cages? Is that Pro-Life? What about the millions of people killed in our invasions of other countries? Is that Pro- Life? What about the hundreds of thousands without work, homeless and food insecure while the GOP give tax breaks to corporations and the 1%? Is that pro-life? What about the Trump administration response to coronavirus— in the US we have over 372,000 deaths from coronavirus —more than any other country! How the heck is that Pro-Life? Maybe if the GOP and Pro-birthers actually cared about lives instead of “birth” and controlling women’s bodies this country wouldn’t be in such a mess.

      If you cared about less abortions you would see with Democrats in power abortions go way down. We need better sex education (abstinence does not cut it) and free birth control for EVERYONE!

      On Election Day on November 3rd there were approximately 232,000 coronavirus deaths in the US. Now it’s over 372,000. I believe those who voted for Trump and his lack of leadership were complicit in the 140,000 coronavirus deaths since election day. I ask you how is that pro-life?

      Also, Planned Parenthood is wonderful. They gave me free or reduced care when I couldn’t afford it. Cancer runs in my family and they gave me the best care. When I was fortunate enough to get insurance I continued to use them. They do so much more than just abortions and are a lifeline to so many.

      I say this as someone who was extremely Christian growing up and Pro-Birth as a teen. Own your vote for Trump and if you really voted for LIFE you wouldn’t have voted for him.

      Be well!

    • Molly says...

      Roxana,
      Thank you, sister, for chiming in. First, apologies. That was very all-encompassing and unkind for me to roll my eyes at someone for considering a Trump vote to be a pro-life vote. Based on your passion and your work, you certainly have a better working knowledge of the issue than I have. I do need to do more research. I guess what I should say is, given the information and knowledge I have, Trump, regardless of policy, seems to incite such divisiveness and display such arrogance that I think he is unfit for the office. I simply cannot get past the issue of character to give any of his policies a fighting chance. Maybe naive of me, but that is just where I am. I am grateful that our hope will not be found in finding the right leader for our nation. Hopefully we will find a better one in the coming years. I pray that we will. In the meantime, I feel that I voted for “the lesser of 2 evils” and hold to the hope that the One who really rules will make his truth known. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders… Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom,
      establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6-7

    • Julee says...

      I don’t agree with MKs comment trying to scold Molly…
      A few days later I still felt this way.
      As an American, and a fan of this blog, I don’t like to see (however low-key) religion-shaming.

    • Molly says...

      M2,
      While many “pro-life” votes are, in fact “pro-birth” as you say, and don’t give enough attention to the vulnerable outside of the womb, I believe it is unfair to call Roxana one of them. She clearly states that she works with ministry partners that serve vulnerable children in Chicago and globally. While many may think a Republican vote may not have been the most empowering vote for vulnerable people outside of the womb (as it seems to me), a Republican vote is the most empowering for who many, many good, kind Americans see as THE MOST vulnerable people in the world (those still in the womb). Can we agree to disagree that there is no perfect vote that addresses all issues in the absolutely right way? Again, sure, there are many who totally focus on those in the womb and neglect the vulnerable outside of the womb. It doesn’t appear to me that Roxana is one of them. I think she puts her money – and her time and energy – where her mouth is.

      And Julee, it’s ok. There is some truth to what MK said and it is something that all Christians need to humbly consider. In fact, I think if folks who call themselves Christian would be more humble (as the One we claim to follow showed ultimate humility and calls us to) then so much of the violence and name-calling that is happening today would cease. Not all of it, but a good deal of it!

    • Roxana says...

      Molly, I appreciate all of what you say. I’m not judging you for your vote. I totally get it. I mean, I think I see who Trump is (I’d have to be completely blind not to). As I said, I have many fellow brothers and sisters who could not stomach voting for him, despite alignment with his conservative policies. Again, I appreciate all that you say and especially this:

      I am grateful that our hope will not be found in finding the right leader for our nation. Hopefully we will find a better one in the coming years. I pray that we will. In the meantime, I feel that I voted for “the lesser of 2 evils” and hold to the hope that the One who really rules will make his truth known. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders… Of the greatness of his government and peace, there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” Isaiah 9:6-7″

      AMEN! That passage from Isaiah legit makes me cry. (insert a big heart emoji ;)

  17. Lisa says...

    Yesterday I finally understood that it’s not racism, as I had characterized, i.e. a set of emotional responses and biases that people can’t control. It’s an overt desire and concurrent plans for White Supremacy.

    We cannot heal an infection with a bandaid. Everyone who wants to be anti-racist has to choose a course of actions to effect change, and follow up. That’s it.

  18. A says...

    Like a lot of others, I’ve had enough of this “reconciliation and looking ahead” B.S. I hope Biden has enough people around him forcefully making the point that healing from this event needs to include accountability, and that accountability needs to start at the top with the man that started it. Trump’s inevitable self-pardon needs to be challenged forcefully and in every court available. It cannot stand that a sitting president – on live television – incited a mob against a separate branch of government while they were in session, because he is incapable of accepting the results of a free and fair election. I understand if Biden remains mum on this prior to 1/20 – fueling the fire with an unstable president still in office is not the right move right now – but I want to hear from his justice department on day 1 that an investigation is happening and charges will be filed against everyone involved.

    • Tiffani says...

      Yes. All of this.

    • APC says...

      YES to ALL OF THIS!

    • Anon says...

      YES! AND also all of those in power who supported and encouraged this horrific ‘president’s’ agenda must be held accountable as well.

      You can’t “unite” with people like this because they have no ethics. To unite would require becoming like them. So… NO. This commenter said it perfectly: sometimes healing requires accountability. Their behaviour is appalling and extremely dangerous. Accountability. That is what is needed for healing. This will also help less ardent Trump supporters understand that Trump’s behaviour is wrong, and help stop these extremists from continuing to divide through lies and misinformation.

    • CandiceZ says...

      I believe strongly in reconciliation and looking ahead. However, I agree that such healthy steps do not include condoning terrorism or treason. Terrorism and treason should be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law and quickly, no matter who committed the act.

  19. Jean says...

    I watched the live coverage on the news here in England, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I just don’t understand how this was allowed to happen, how the police enabled it, how the terrorists (because that’s what they are) were treated with kid gloves. From where I’m sitting, America looks like a divided nation and I worry that it’s too much of a divide for Biden & Harris to repair. Also, I wonder how the new President and VP can be kept safe from these domestic terrorists when the security of Capitol Hill is so lax and the police loyalties lie elsewhere.

    • Mel says...

      A very scary thought indeed.

  20. Amanda says...

    I want to say that what happened is completely atrocious on so, so many levels—the attack on our democracy, the glaring white privilege—and I am glad that Joanna posted about it for sure! But, I think it’s also important to acknowledge in a full post (I realize this post ends with this, which is good!) the other thing happening simultaneously in this country right now. Biden/Harris were elected, they did beat Trump. And two democrats were just elected in a Georgia run-off shifting control of the Senate. That is huge and that is the hope that we all needed and that we all fought for. I am so inspired by the people in Georgia like Stacey Abrams who rolled up their sleeves and got to work. I would love to see a post acknowledging them and explaining how they got it done. I get feeling saddened and ashamed by the state of the country right now. But also, we won this battle! Let’s come away feeling more determined than ever not to walk away from the work, but to keep it going.

    • Kate says...

      I appreciate the hopefulness in what you’re saying and the important changes ahead for the U.S. Forgive me as I may be looking at this the wrong way, but it really seems that voting was not the simple solution when we consider that over 70 million Americans did vote for Trump and an angry mob infiltrated the Capitol building. This is a grassroots issue, a very undermining of the underpinings of democracy, and it does not seem that it can be fixed by the results of a run-off election in one state or the inauguration of the first female VP, as exciting as these results may be. The damage is done and it looks as if things will continue to unravel as the virus and misinformation continue to spread uncontained. I am especially worried for black Americans in this climate, moreso than ever.

  21. Claire says...

    Passing this along in case anyone is interested, as it seems a thought provoking and substantive discussion on points that don’t typically make it into mainstream discussion: an article/interview between Anand Giridharadas and activist/ film maker Abigail Disney, “What is not your fault may be your problem”
    https://the.ink/p/not-your-fault

    • Heather says...

      Thanks for sharing this – it reminds me of one of the many analogies Isabella Wilkerson makes in Caste:

      We in the developed world are like homeowners who inherited a house on a piece of land that is beautiful on the outside, but whose soil is unstable loam and rock, heaving and contracting over generations, cracks patched but the deeper ruptures waved away for decades, centuries even. Many people may rightly say, “I had nothing to do with how this all started. I have nothing to do with the sins of the past. My ancestors never attacked indigenous people, never owned slaves.” And, yes. Not one of us was here when this house was built. Our immediate ancestors may have had nothing to do with it, but here we are, the current occupants of a property with stress cracks and bowed walls and fissures built into the foundation. We are the heirs to whatever is right or wrong with it. We did not erect the uneven pillars or joists, but they are ours to deal with now.
      And any further deterioration is, in fact, on our hands.

    • Lauren says...

      @Heather, love Caste and love that quote. Shared it with family members and it really helped change the tone of our conversations

    • K says...

      “What is not your fault may be your problem” is a brilliant way to put it!

      From Ray Dalio to Bret Weinstein to random TikToks… there’s been a rumbling of World War III starting with an American Civil War, internal strife. And I don’t know how to articulate how genuinely worried about this I am.

      Not to mention, there’s many international concurrent movers that make this an even bigger global problem, if you can imagine it.

      It’s clear that many of us have forgotten history. WIth history we can predict the future, which everything from Confucius’ The Great Learning to Ray Dalio talk about constantly. It ultimately ends up in a fight between extremists, between the communists and the fascists.

      We need to find our common humanity. We need to love the evil. I don’t mean love with fondness, I mean love in the metaphysical sense. Tough love, love with specific actions that encourage ourselves and others to be better. Find why these people are hurting, like the goddess in Moana. All of us, if others aren’t doing the compassionate thing, we still implore ourselves to do the compassionate thing. We do right by ourselves and then others.

      “The best fighter is never angry” -Lao Tzu

    • Jessica says...

      The most enlightening piece I have read on this whole mess yet. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Molly says...

    For any Christians out there who are frustrated at the reputation that Christianity is getting as a result of the way these far-right “Christians” (I put that in quotes b/c I think these people do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ and have selected portions of the Bible that advance their agenda), this article was very helpful. It humbly acknowledges the failures of the Church and of Christians, and urges us to step up in this moment in the ways that we are called to by our Lord Jesus Christ and his Word.
    https://www.rootedministry.com/blog/what-do-we-tell-our-children-about-the-storming-of-the-capitol/

    • Roxana says...

      Molly, I am right there with you! Thank you for sharing this!

  23. Annie says...

    As a Canadian who was watching the news, horrified, I thought if this happened in the USA, democracy is not safe anywhere. This is so sad. Democratic countries need more than ever to protect their rights and institutions.

    • Marisa says...

      I think it is important that we acknowledge this as a display of white power and another flagrant display of how racist the police are more than an attack on democracy. We watched this just months ago in Canada as RCMP did nothing while Mi’kmaq fishermen were being attacked in Nova Scotia. It can be easy to separate ourselves from things happening in the US as Canadians but the root of why this happened is also alive in Canada.

    • Eliza says...

      Marisa, I think you’ll like this (satirical) article:
      https://www.thebeaverton.com/2021/01/canadian-physios-overwhelmed-as-nation-injured-patting-itself-on-the-back/

      This Capitol event doesn’t feel far away to me at all, either. I have an unfortunate number (any number is unfortunate) of Canadian acquaintances here on the west coast of BC who would have joined that mob – maybe not the ones who got close, but they would have been in the throng somewhere. On this side, the Wet’suwet’en pipeline issue on unceded territory still goes on with police interference regularly (among a zillion other issues we need to face).

    • Marisa says...

      That Beaverton article, so good hahaha Thanks for sharing!

  24. Kat says...

    I’m a Canadian political science grad student. I study elections. My girlfriend is American. Watching this unfold wasn’t unexpected, but god, I’d hoped it was going to be limited to street protests and legal manoeuvres.
    I’m terrified for my girlfriend and I’m terrified for the country I neighbour. I thought that, as we got closer to this election, that if I studied the peaceful transition of power in detail, I’d be more aware, and less afraid when it got tested in the US. In all honesty, it didn’t work. I was shaking and nauseous and unable to sleep from a country away. The US is still a world leader with immeasurable soft power, and this kind of event has terrifying implications for the US but also for extremist movements in other countries. One of the most frustrating things of the past five years is my literal inability to do anything. I can’t vote in that election, I can’t volunteer for those organizations, I’m literally not eligible. But turning my eyes to the protest in Vancouver where a journalist was assaulted has me heartbroken for the US and terrified for here. I’m working to see what I can do within the my own country for now.
    I guess the only insight I can give is that for folks who are frustrated with this not being called a coup, and these folks not being called terrorists, those words within a political science context have incredibly specific definitions and requirements that have to be matched, and this event doesn’t quite match it. Probably incredibly frustrating, and please continue to use it colloquially, but if you’re wondering why political environments aren’t using those terms in this context, the definitions are super narrow.

    • Marisa says...

      As a Canadian living in the US, I totally feel you on the inability to do much to influence American elections. However, I think it is important that we acknowledge this as a display of white power and another flagrant display of how racist the police are more than an attack on democracy. We watched this just months ago in Canada as RCMP did nothing while Mi’kmaq fishermen were being attacked in Nova Scotia. The root of why this happened in the US is also alive in Canada.

  25. Martini says...

    My life long hobby and passion are U.S. Presidents and The White House building. I care little of their politics because politics are too fickle.
    Truman was President when I was born and I’ve so enjoyed each one since. I’ve spent all these many years studying each and every one of these men. I of course have not agreed with all but the one thing I found the same in each man was no matter how disagreeable or lacking in some part of their characters, there was always something ( often small) that you could like or admire about them.
    But this one? Nothing. I’ve known this joker, this crook, this lunatic, since the 1970’s and he’s only gotten worse the older he’s become. I’ve never found one redeeming ounce of virtue in him.
    I’m old now and am so sorry you all will to deal with him for some years to come it appears.
    I wish for all of you a future of Presidents that are fit and deserving of holding the office. Someone who will do their best to keep you safe and protected, it’s the least you can expect of them.
    Impeach Trump? Yes! It’s the only assurance we have that he will never hold office again. Please do your part to support removing him from office. It will set about a clear path of protecting you from him ever again and begin correcting most of the damage he’s done… and give you a future of a democracy you will be proud of.
    Trust your gut and rely on your suspensions at the very least.

    • Tasha says...

      Trump is far from the most monstrous, evil US President. Many many of the first several Presidents owned actual human beings – my ancestors. Whiteness allows you to see Trump as the worst? Ha! The entire position of President is pure barbarism.

    • Julee says...

      Tasha, I hear that.