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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. Robyn says...

    I live in a very pro MAGA area.. I live in the last Capitol of the Confederacy. Every Saturday there are protest, confederate flags and all. My neighbors drive trucks with proud boy flags. No, they don’t live in trailer parks. They could buy and sell us all. Living with and understanding the mindset that fueled the coup terrifies me. Since the election of 2016 I have had a sick feeling in my stomach. Pandora’s Box has been opened. Hate has been allowed to come out from under the covers and has been groomed and stoked. I hope we can find hope at the bottom of Pandora’s box.

    • Claire says...

      this is a really interesting and important point. The stereotype of MAGA people as being disgruntled people who are outliers, and struggling poor people who have been left behind by the system, is not correct. It takes money to buy guns and organize. Journalist/writer Sarah Smarsh has written some excellent articles around this topic.

  2. Laura says...

    Thanks for opening the conversation, Joanna! There is so much here that deeply resonates with me. I live in Germany, and it just feels like an evil forshadowing of a new polarization fueled by fake news, hatred etc. Germans like to tell themselves that as we have an uncomparatively horrible history, at least we habe learnt from it. But it is not like that. Between 5-25% percent vote for a new right wing party. A couple of weeks ago people waving Nazi flags tried to get into the German Parliament. I notice that here and in the States (my brother lives there) people like to focus on the madman, you know like Trump and his freak show. But learning from history, its important to look at, and hold accountable, EVERYONE WHO ENABLED. It was not that Germany was not taken over by the Nazis, but most people supporting him or doing nothing against. And those were ordinary people, „good folks“, the great-grandparents of me and my friends here. They didn‘t vote for Hitler primarily because they wanted millions of Jews and other minorities killed, but because they wanted a job, food, law and order, a feeling of grandeur – and didn‘t care about the Jews.
    And that is really bad.
    Trump is not Hitler, but let‘s learn from history what happens if you vote hate, lies, distrust of democracy, just because you are conservative, „fed up“ or that local governor is actually a nice guy.
    I know that it is quite a harsh view, and a two party system is different than a multi party system where the „extremists“ nicely fit in one „small“ box. It‘s not about telling people who vote republican (or here SOHAS who joining anti-corona protests together with Nazis, thats my bubble-problem here) that they are evil, but discussing with them being an enabler. And for us not just looking at the freak show, and being horrified by it – that is easy, that is often far away. But being horrified by those who said yes, or keep quiet – and checking if we really do everything we can to talk to them and hold them accountable. Hold ourselves accountable.

    • Abby says...

      This is a really valuable piece of history and insight. Thank you for sharing it. This seems very much a part of how we got here — through many who knew or should have known better looking the other way at Trump’s danger and hatefulness because of some policy, political, or personal advantage he offered (be it tax cuts, regulatory rollbacks, conservative / pro-life judges, etc). We would not be here without the many enablers who voted/funded/endorsed/excused/held their tongue etc for Trump.

    • Trudy says...

      Excellent post, Laura. I am the mother of a disabled daughter and a long-time advocate for equal rights for people with disabilities. One context that I do not see discussed regarding the Nazi killing machine is Eugenics. The Western World believed that people with disabilities were less than human, so they put them away in institutions, took away their rights to vote, to marry, to have children (with forced sterilizations), etc. Those Eugenic policies endured for decades. Apparently it felt like a small step from institutionalization to “euthanize,” aka, murder, people with disabilities. I’ve read that the gas chambers in the concentration camps were tested on people with disabilities. From there, apparently it felt like a small step to kill other groups: Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, Catholics, resistance workers, and so on. So the madness of not seeing other human beings as worthy of full human rights pre-dated the Nazi movement, and the Nazi movement in part flowed out of that dehumanization of others.

  3. Mona says...

    I was watching it unravel from Stockholm, and following the comments of our own politicians. Everyone commented except the right wing extremist party – who btw nominated Trump for the Nobel peace prize – the same party that is gaining momentum and growing by the day. Ten years ago they were obscure and looked down upon, today they are the second biggest party. They are advocating for relocation of everyone who has been in Sweden for less that 40 years. Saying it’s impossible to be both Jewish and Swedish. I’m afraid what happened to you on the sixth will happen here too. I’m so afraid

  4. Sequoia says...

    To everyone is shocked, or frightened or sitting with this to find some lesson or silver lining, please understand a few things.

    -ALL of last years protests were because of this exact behavior being perpetrated against black bodies, black communities and black lively hoods across this entire nation. PERIOD. What you witnessed yesterday was a large scale display of this behavior and mentality directed at other white people. So if you are scared or dismayed today, understand that, that fear and dismay is all some of us have ever known. America had her self portrait taken yesterday and it was butt ass ugly. How will you work on her. Because, make no mistake as seen yesterday when capitol police ALLOWED them to terrorize our nearly all white legislators that EVERYONE who is not with them is against them. Your skin won’t protect from them.

    – Trump may have taken the lid off the box, the box was full when he found it. This wasn’t created by him and won’t go away with him.

    -To people struggling with “otherwise” kind, loving, intelligent family members that they are still trying to make space for; what does otherwise mean? That they are kind, loving and apply their intellect to white people only? Call your spade a racist so you can get a real sense of where you really are.

    – To the Black and Jewish readers here who see people trying to make of what at this point is a biological fear of white rage. Its ok to not hold space for that today or tomorrow. It’s beyond ridiculous that the oppressed always have to acknowledge the humanity of their oppressors to “reach”, whilst having yours be completely invalidated in the process.

    Furiously.

    PS. I love you Joanna and it is truly amazing that you have created a space where I feel safe, seen, even comforted when this country has been unable or refused to so do in over 200 years.

    • Lisa says...

      Thank you.

  5. K says...

    Those crazy scenes yesterday were like a zombie apocalypse.

    It does really worry me that once the seal is broken, it feels like everything and everything.

    It kinda feels like when a parent is dealing with a troubling kid and the kid realizes that the parent has no idea how to discipline them because they’re afraid of enacting actual consequences. They’ll steal your credit card to buy video games, they’ll threaten to kill you or themselves if they don’t get what they want.

    I think we really need to appeal to everyone’s common humanity, as stated in The Coddling of the American Mind.

    I do not support Trump. But I think that the people who trespassed yesterday were extremists. It is the job of conservatives to denounce fascists, just like how Muslims denounce extremists who co-opt Islam. The left also has to denounce Antifa, in whatever form it may take. Terrorizing the Capitol is absolutely wrong. Looting and burning small businesses of which are many people’s (including many immigrants’) sole income, and no insurance does not cover it, is wrong.

    • MC says...

      “Antifa” means anti fascism. Why should that be renounced?

    • Mary says...

      Because Antifa (at least in Portland) spent night after night throwing fireworks and bricks at federal buildings and police buildings and smashing businesses. Our downtown is a disaster, never mind the hit that Covid has had on it, no one wants to be down there to shop or visit restaurants anymore. And our mayor and city council had done nothing about it. I have a family member who owns a business downtown and it is devastating.

      What happened on January 6th broke my heart. What’s happened all summer and year here in Portland broke my heart. I am trying to remember that 95% of people in the US are rational and respectful and we are just seeing the extremes but man, is it tough. I do hope they impeach Trump in these last few weeks, it would at least feel like a nail in the coffin of Trumpism.

    • megan says...

      Mary – i agree. I also live in Portland and our beautiful city will take years to recover. it is heartbreaking.

    • E says...

      Just a reminder that antifa is not a group! Also a reminder that the majority of BLM protesters in Portland, OR, were peaceful, and, while a few broke windows, the militarized police use of force was totally disproportionate to the actions of protesters. At one point over 20 peaceful protesters were kettled and arrested a block away from my house! Interesting to compare/contrast to what happened in the Capitol on Wednesday. I hear you on the crappiness of property destruction, but I think we should focus on denouncing white supremacy, including white supremacist police departments.

    • Lindsay says...

      E- a few broke windows? Not true at all. Portland and Seattle are destroyed and they were allowed to be, nobody stopped it. Nobody stopped antifa from destroying businesses that some hardworking people spent their life creating. I live in Seattle and we were scared. Never in my life did I think I would feel so unsafe.

    • Sheri says...

      Come now, Lindsay – I also live in Seattle and to say it’s been “destroyed” by antifa or the protests from this summer is just not true. The biggest visible change in this city in the past year has been directly attributable to coronavirus – so many closed businesses and restaurants, more people experiencing homelessness, etc. – but that’s the case in every large US city, as Covid continues to run us completely ragged. Unless you live or spend significant time in the heart of downtown or Capitol Hill (which has been CHAZ-less since early July), the protests of this summer were simply not visible to the everyday Seattleite. Cup of Jo friends, don’t believe the “Seattle is burning” horseshit.

    • lindsay says...

      Sheri – At the time, it was scary. Yes it is better several months later and I am thankful the riots did not extrend to my area on the east side. A woman was beat senseless in front of her store in Seattle. I watched it. Portland though, lets talk about that? Just google the images and you will see its quite different than a “few broken windows”

  6. Monica says...

    I was pretty well unplugged for this particular day and I’m glad I was. Coming back to the info world to hours and hours of coverage was shocking.

    We’re currently studying the Revolutionary War in US History and this year has given us many opportunities to imagine what life was like for those living through the building of an independent nation, those who aggressively wanted change and those who aggressively did not want it. It tore families apart and cost countless lives.

    I can’t help wondering what history will make of us and whose “winner’s voice” will be telling the stories.

  7. Miranda says...

    I’m feeling like is COVID over yet so New Zealand will take me & my little family? I don’t see how we come back from what a mess we’ve become. I don’t want to raise my kids in this hate-driven, gun-filled, broken place. I feel bad for jumping ship, but also am so done. I look around the world, and I see that it doesn’t have to be this way. I was never particularly patriotic anyway—this is just a place where we live because we were born here. When is it time to call it and get out while you can? It feels like now.

    • j says...

      I cannot imagine a worse response to the moment——sorry to be blunt.

      I am a young gay man who grew up in a small reddish town in a purple state. It was rough. Now, though, because of changing demographics, because people my age returned home to settle, because the insanity of our current politics forced some people to evolve, my hometown is a blue-ish purple pocket in blue-ing purple state. You literally have the power to evolve your country just by being here, and, crucially, you make it safer for the rest of us.

      As it happens I currently live in China thanks to my doctoral research (it’s temporary; I plan to return post-COVID) and, purely by coincidence, have passed the entire Trump presidency abroad. I assure you I have never been more attuned to the news——i.e. outraged and engaged——than during this time away from my country. I haven’t for a **single** moment felt relief about being at a distance from the chaos. Quite the opposite: it has been painful to be away, not only because you’re cut off from the catharsis of collective outrage but also because, if you’re inclined to take your body into the streets, as so many have done during this administration…well, you can’t. It’s easy to feel helpless.

      What’s more, when you move abroad, you represent your country abroad. I can’t think of a worse time than the last five years to be asked **constantly** to explain to locals what the actual f*** is happening in America. It’s embarrassing, and the real answers are too complicated to explain easily in English, let alone in a foreign language. And needless to say, each country has its own issues. Jacinda Ardern will leave office someday and a very different leader will replace here, as always happens.

      There are a thousand great reasons to move abroad, don’t get me wrong. I moved far away out of deep curiosity for this faraway place. But “jumping ship” is a terrible reason, and it leaves everyone else on board, fighting your fight. Look towards the problem, not away from it.

      (I think we can all agree, though, that moving to New Zealand——on it’s own terms——does sound great!)

    • Jody Winter says...

      Hi from New Zealand, Miranda. Although we would welcome you and your little family here, it breaks my heart that you feel you must leave your home land. I, like others watching from afar, are devastated for you in the U.S. I want your country to succeed, not fail. Please know that there are many around the world rooting for you and hoping that things get better soon. x

    • AG says...

      I wonder, in 2016 when Trump won, how many Americans who wanted to leave the US – actually left?

      And I wonder, if you were never really patriotic anyway and US is just a place you were born in and currently live, what stopped you from leaving then?

    • Kate says...

      I always think it is interesting when people think of moving to these countries. These countries, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, etc., for sure have more progressive policies…. but they are all so. white. New Zealand is over 70% white, Denmark is around 80% I believe, etc. These countries are often great for progressive white people but often have many similar issues around race – they just don’t make the news as often because POC are such minorities. It’s just something I think about, now that the US is on track to become minority white. The grass is always greener – let’s work on making our home better for our children.

    • Hannah says...

      Thank you, J for your comment. Having spent years abroad I can second everything you have said, you wrote that perfectly.

    • Rusty says...

      KATE,
      Australia is a very progressive country and THE most multicultural nation in the world.
      We’re doing very well (so far, but the UK strain has just landed…yikes).
      Unfortunately, our treatment of First Nations people is piss-poor.

    • SR says...

      I 100% agree with Kate! You see this kind of rhetoric around education too. People always say Finland has a much better education system, and while it’s true that they have some really great practices for teachers and funding, you can’t ignore how homogenous their population is. It’s easier to teach a group of all white students with no generational/racial trauma. As Finland becomes more ethnically diverse due to recent immigration, Finnish schools are actually looking to the US for ways to teach with a multicultural and justice lens. There’s never one side to these issues!

    • miranda says...

      Wow! I really appreciate everyone’s perspectives. Honest to goodness! J, your story is really interesting! And I completely know the ‘American abroad embarrassment’ that you’re talking about. I have definitely felt it before, too. I myself live in a very very blue state, so I am surely influenced by that. Here, the votes go the way I want them to anyway—luckily—but it’s hard to feel like I can have much impact in red states or purple states. Part of what I was getting at about patriotism is that it’s difficult to feel like my daily life should be influenced by the choices of people who live thousands of miles away from me. Does this country even make sense anymore? Maybe our distances—geographical, political and philosophical—are too wide? I shared my feelings because moving away is just a very real question for our family right now—what kind of environment do we want to raise our kids in, if we have the chance to choose? The world is vast. Maybe this is a chance to try something new! And while I recognize that there’s work to be done here, that is true all over the world. Anyway, we’ll see what happens. I do have hope for a Biden presidency—I hope we can find a path forward! It’s just very hard to see it.

    • Ramya says...

      Thank you to J for eloquently stating what I have felt as an expat for the majority of 2002-2017 and what ultimately (among other things) made me move back home to the U.S.: “It has been painful to be away, not only because you’re cut off from the catharsis of collective outrage but also because, if you’re inclined to take your body into the streets, as so many have done during this administration…well, you can’t.” This! In the globalized and social media-dominated world we live in today, it’s impossible to be insulated from the realities at home just because you’re on the other side of the planet. For me, the right choice was to come home and try to be a part of the effort to change the status quo.

    • T says...

      Like a popular meme says…

      “You don’t need Jacinda Adern, you need to ELECT your own Jacinda Adern”

      They’re everywhere. Vote them in.

    • Lindsay says...

      Where are you? I live in the US and the only thing ruining our lives is Covid isolation and taking away all the fun pleasures in life like parties, ball games and concerts. Seeing family. Not being with loved ones before they pass. Absolute tragedy and guess what? That is why people are going crazy. They have literally nothing else to do. And Honestly, New Zealand?! Where they have camps for people who test positive? If I had to leave the US, I’d go to Sweden……

  8. Deana says...

    I cried watching this on TV. Unimaginable for it to happen here, and yet it was foreseeable, with all the shenanigans and misinformation following the election, so much disrespect for traditions and the law. Trump should be removed from office immediately and prosecuted.

  9. DC Resident says...

    I am a resident of DC, and I live five blocks away from the Capitol. My boyfriend is a congressional staffer, and he was under lockdown all day yesterday. I sat in front of my TV watching CSPAN while texting him “they made it to the door!” and tracked him on find my friends. He made it home safe late that night, after hiding in another office with other staffers. I was scared every minute until he called me once he made it out, even periodic texts saying “I’m safe” felt like nothing until I heard his voice. It amazes me that so many people refuse to admit it was a terrorist act that happened yesterday… perhaps they would feel differently if a loved one had been there?

    The night before he was over for dinner and I told him he should take his boss’ offer to work from home. He refused to saying that he had signed up to do this job, regardless of the circumstances. He then told me he trusted Capitol Police with his life. We witnessed so many brave policeman put their lives on the line yesterday, and we also witnessed some of them, well, put other people’s lives on the line. I think it’s clear that race played a role in the their unpreparedness yesterday…perhaps it played a role in his confidence in Capitol police as well? We are both white/white passing.

    And lastly, I live with a trump supporter. My roommate voted for him, and works for people who insisted in the election fraud madness. She didn’t seem at all worried the night before. Then, the next day, she left work early and walked in to me in tears in front of CSPAN (did not ask me if I was alright, or if my boyfriend was alright either and she knew he was there) packed a bag and left with a coworker who also did not acknowledge me. I asked her if she was coming back later (I am not a monster after all, I would’ve been worried had she simply disappeared on that specific day). She said she would feel safer staying at her co-worker’s because it was further away from the Capitol. How shameless to vote for a man, work to promote his delusions then run when you realize it might actually impact you!

    Dear COJ readers, I ask you, how do I go on living with her? I cannot move because of our lease and we have disagreed in the past and when I told her I did not think we were a good match as roommates she says “different ideas make the world go around” and refused to talk politics ever again. How do we deal with people who refuse to acknowledge reality, be it election results, be it the state of the world in general?

    • amelia says...

      Break your lease. Absolutely no shame in standing up for yourself.

    • M says...

      I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this horrific time so close to the fire! It sounds like you may be feeling a gut reaction to get away from the toxicity of this living situation, and that’s incredibly justified. Can you pay a penalty and break the lease? Sublet? Or could you move in with your boyfriend (rent-free or maybe rent-cheap?) while riding out/paying the duration of your lease? Or, if you’re working from home due to COVID, is it possible to live with a close friend or family member who may not be in DC to ride out the lease? Obviously, we don’t know each other and I don’t know the particulars of your situation, but I do know that the people who are deep in the Trump conspiracy world are so far from reality that it’s really not worth it to engage. Their bullshit sniffer is broken and you’ll just keep circling around the same pile of crap until you’re too exhausted to continue. Save your sanity and get out. And then volunteer, donate to or otherwise engage with organizations that bring real positive change. Sending better vibes your way from Colorado!

    • Annie says...

      I understand the financial hardships of breaking a lease, so if that is not possible, see if this roommate will engage in some sort of dialogue about these most recent events. Clearly, she was emotionally moved in some way. If NOT, then you have to recognize you can’t change her, and as painful as that is, you keep being the strong human with a clear moral compass, and you live your life. And you prepare yourself to move and/or find a new roommate as soon as financially possible. Best of luck through all of this. I can only imagine how difficult this time will be.

    • Karen says...

      Life is too short! Break your lease. Good luck!

    • BD says...

      I’m so sorry you had to go through this, both fearing for the safety of your boyfriend and living with a Trump supporter, lol. But seriously, that must be incredibly challenging. I too am stunned at her inconsiderate response to your suffering.

      My husband and I have had so many conversations about this. “How do we deal with people who refuse to acknowledge reality?” We have some family and friends who voted for Trump, both times, and who range widely in their degree of allegiance to him. After all of our talking about it, I’m not exactly sure what the answer is. After all, if we cut ourselves off from people, we become more and more fractured. Not only as a nation, but as individuals. Dissociation seems like the psychological malady of our time. But also, when and how do we honor our own boundaries, and defend the truth?

      I think it takes some self knowledge and courage to determine what is right for you, and I’m certainly on that journey myself. I enjoy Thich Nhat Hanh and have watched this video many times. The question posed is, “My father makes me suffer a lot. Should I keep seeing him?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_yLDHcH6LI. I think it starts with seeing ourselves in the other. Meeting the parts of me that refuse to acknowledge reality, that dissociate to avoid pain, and then love myself there.

      You also have to honor the trauma you experienced on January 6th and do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself. Living with such a triggering individual might not be so great right now. Whatever you choose to do, I hope you’re gentle with yourself.

    • DC Res says...

      Thanks everyone for the support! Moving is unfortunately not a possibility, and I don’t want her to win. Does that make sense? I feel like it she “wins” if she runs me out of an apartment that I was in first, and that is rent controlled and safe and perfect for me and my budget. My hope is that she won’t choose to renew the lease. I have been considering sitting her down and telling her I do not want a relationship with her. Like I do not want to make pleasant conversation about our days, I want to pretend she is not around. I know this sounds awful, but BD described her as a “triggering individual” and that is the perfect description for her. Do you guys think it is possible to live with someone but not have any relationship with them?

    • Katey says...

      I’m so thankful you and your boyfriend are safe. This WAS a terrorist attack. Insist on calling it that; don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

      Yes, you can live with a person you ignore. It won’t be pleasant. It may be unpleasant regularly. Keep in mind why you are doing this: to protect yourself from exposure to a careless person. She showed no regard for your safety or your boyfriend’s. It is absolutely okay to put up major emotional and behavioral walls to keep yourself safe from this person. While you live with her, I recommend seeing a therapist. A good therapist will help you handle the discomfort and challenges you encounter while sharing space with this person. Good luck!

  10. Meghan says...

    I am a U.S. government teacher at a public high school in Northern VA – basically the backyard of D.C. At my previous school (also in Fairfax County), we would take students down to Capitol Hill for an all-day field trip, which was a highlight of the year. Today, sitting alone in my house (because we are still virtual learning due to the pandemic), I had to process with my students what is happening to the democracy we have been learning about. And amidst my feeling heartsick and angry and a myriad of other emotions, I am proud of my students. They understand that the 1st amendment does not guarantee absolute freedoms, that violence is NEVER the answer, and that politics (and life) is much more nuanced than many adults seem to understand. And I am thankful for the civil discourse that I was able to have with these 16-18-year-olds… I just wish that the grown-ups would start learning that life skill as well.

  11. T says...

    I posted this to design mom but thought it held worth here also. My comment stems from the fact that it’s only white people who are shocked about this. Everyone else already knew this was what was possible.

    … I think it could be a good thing that has happened, maybe? Hear me out. It’s terrible and atrocious that there is so much white supremacy in the world but we (the white people) have tricked ourselves into believing that this is all in the past – for as long as everything is rosy enough for us personally we can do the bare minimum and call it progress. When these sleeper cells of extremists are quiet, that deluded utopian view is upheld. But now, a floodlight has been shone on the deep, entrenched problem that the world has. We can’t pretend anymore. A narcissist has had his tantrum and we can see clearly now that things are not how we had hoped, pretending is not an option for the us, the moderate, anymore. The moderate is the majority, the reality is that America is NOT better than this, but you could be. I’m Australian and here the discourse is “only in America” – ha! The arrogance of this! This is global. And as a moderate left-leaning white woman with an opinion and little action (a few donations counts for nothing) it’s past due for me to help. I’m sorry for not doing so sooner.

    Also, I believe it’s right for community groups to denounce the actions of their extremists, we all have them in the communities we belong to, moderate republicans – denounce yours, and do better.

    • Maggie says...

      I completely agree with this. Something had to come to a head to lance to seditious GOP boil that has plagued our nation these past years. Also, propaganda works apparently.

    • Claudia says...

      Agree, this is global. I’m from Portugal, a very easy-going Latin nation, with a recent past of decades of a right-wing dictatorship. Recently a right wing, racist and populist movement has been gaining force in Portugal and it is vital that we discuss it, acknowledge it and denounce their actions and discourse. We cannot let this happen. We cannot let they win.

    • Karen says...

      I encourage restraint from skin-color generalizations: “it’s only white people who are shocked about this. Everyone else already knew this was what was possible”.

      As a white women, I’m offended. And you’re wrong. I didn’t even both to read the rest of what you wrote either, since you started out with that BS.

      Many of my friends and family have felt nothing but fear, shock, and disgust over Trump’s four years of reigning terror. We’ve watched him for years verbally groom and encourage his baseline fanatics, and what happened Wed was a peak performance. Shocked and disgusted, fearful for our democracy – yes; but surprised – no. This event was Trumpism to a Tee.

    • Carol says...

      Hi Karen,
      T didn’t say that *all* white people were surprised by this, they said that the only surprised people were white – as in, there could be non-surprised white people, but all the people who *are* surprised are white.
      It might seem finnicky to point out this distinction, but I think it’s an important reaction to examine as you are not alone in this. The immediate defensiveness that you felt prevented you from listening any further to T’s point. I have seen a number of BIPOC people make the same statement as T – that the only people surprised by this are white. Should we not listen to them? If you know that the generalisation doesn’t apply to you personally, then great! But we can’t just let ourselves off the hook with a #notallwhitepeople, we have to keep examining how we can do better.

  12. Hayley says...

    What transpired yesterday was not a surprise. I was worried something like this might happen from Trump’s deranged loyalists. Yet, while it was unfolding, I was still stunned, dumbfounded. How is the Capitol this vulnerable? Were people really not prepared for something like this to happen yesterday? Maybe not quite at this level, but still. And where the hell were the National Guard and all of these cops who were at the ready during every PEACEFUL BLM protest this past summer? The ones who teargassed kids, incited violence when there was none, and literally tried to run protestors over with their cop cars?

    Make no mistake though, this was NOT a protest and I am so tired of seeing various media outlets refer to it as such, including the New York Times. This was a bunch of scared, hateful (mostly male, mostly white), privileged babies, inflicting fear, violence, and terror, and blatantly breaking the law (under their deluded guise of “patriotism”) because their “leader” told them to. This disgraceful display was the epitome of white privilege, white supremacy, and toxic masculinity. If this mob of domestic terrorists had been black, they would have been shot dead, right on site. And the cops LET THEM IN! They removed the barricades, they took selfies with these heinous lunatics!

    I’d like to think every single one of these terrorists (including Trump) will be charged, prosecuted, and jailed, but based on their whiteness and how few arrests have been made thus far, I’m not feeling very hopeful.

    I’m disgusted and sad and I want better from this country and its people. It is going to take so much more education and conversation and zero tolerance, and working to be actively anti-racist, and challenging and REBUILDING systems that DO NOT WORK. We have to examine the root of this pervasive evil. We have to raise our boys better, save them from ignorance, teach them empathy, teach them to not be ashamed of their feelings, show them that violence is not the answer. I know we can get there, I just wish it didn’t feel so far away.

  13. LT says...

    Utterly utterly disgusted by the events.

  14. Ava says...

    Joanna, thank you for creating space on your blog for these conversations. As a popular mainstream blog I can imagine that it might have been tempting to ‘keep politics out of it’ and not risk alienating part of your audience. But now more than ever we need safe spaces to process and dissect what’s happening to this country. Thank you for taking a stand and providing your readers with this space.

    • Miri says...

      Absolutely agree, Ava.

    • KL says...

      I totally agree, too. These conversations are so important.

    • Cheryl says...

      I came to the comments to say the same Ava. Thank you for putting so eloquently.

  15. My thoughts and feelings are still a riot of sadness and anger, but one positive feeling that has emerged is gratitude to the journalists who risked their own safety to report, photograph, and tweet so that all of us would know what was happening.

    In addition to contacting my representative and senators today, I also donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    • Jay says...

      A person does things, gets caught out, then comes a long speech which inevitably includes the words ” this is not who I am..”. Who pray is it then? Why not admit that yes, this is part of me, the part I need to recognise as the bad part of me and work on it. Now we hear commentators saying ” this happens in other countries, this is not what the USA is…”. Sorry, but the rest of the world is saying this is what the USA is today.

  16. Mollie says...

    Thank you for the post Joanna. I live in Tennessee and had to wake up today knowing that our capital and all we stand for was under siege by backwards terrorists, who are just like people I live close to and see driving their pickup truck with their trump flags flying. It sicknesses me to see the old men wearing their maga trucker hats and t-shirts and then talking about church events. How Christianity and pure hatred has been linked hand in hand is bewildering. The devil is dancing over this and the irony of madness has been missed by these ‘christians’.

    How the Republicans can act surprised is beyond me. trump deliberately sent a violent mob to them yet they are not all screaming impeachment. trump would eat his children if it served his best interest. he is a mad and bad man and must be removed and sent to jail. Our country needs for him to behind bars for so many crimes.

  17. JL says...

    This is America. We reap what we sow. We can’t look away now. The idea of American exceptionalism is BS–we AREN’T better than this and until we’re willing to acknowledge the problems of racial injustice and white supremacy that we have, we’re not going to make progress. You can’t problem solve until you acknowledge the problem exists.

    • Hayley says...

      Thank you, YES! I keep seeing people argue “We are better than this, this is not who we are.” It is. It’s exactly who we are and we have to acknowledge it to change it, 100%.

    • Emma says...

      Yep. And around the world people are saying “only in America”. What happened was SO American.

    • Ramya says...

      Completely!

  18. Debbie Finchum says...

    Cup of Jo, if I don’t follow your views, my comments don’t get posted?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      our policy is that we are posting contrary views but not fake news. thank you!

    • Heather says...

      Love it – much appreciated

    • Jen Pham says...

      Thank you Joanna!

    • K says...

      Thanks Joanna! Debbie Finchum, please get help.

    • jeannie pham says...

      Joanna andd staff, THANK you!

    • QIAN LILY ZHANG says...

      Thank you Joanna!

    • Thanks COJ !

    • Jules says...

      Thank you Joanna. I watched the Social Dilema last night and you taking responsibility for what is in your comments is a breath of fresh air.

    • Helen says...

      Love this policy! Thank you, Joanna!

      Debbie, please get your news from sources other than Facebook.

    • Tricia says...

      Thank you Joanna.

    • Katey says...

      Go Joanna!

      Yes :)

    • Lindsay says...

      I’ve read through and can’t find any with dissenting opinions posted. Is freedom of speech gone?

      We need to all understand that it’s the collective ego causing an “us verses them” mentality on both sides. To come together, we must try to see the sanity in the other side. And meet in the middle, realizing we are all connected and one. Love each other. Can you find love for the guy with the Viking hat right now? I know it’s hard. We all know deep down that both sides are corrupt/mentally ill and the answer lies somewhere in the middle. We can’t really do much to change the behavior of the politicians and their egos, but we can at least try to have open minds and not be so attached to one side that we cannot even see the humanity in the other side.

      Do you really believe you know what is fake news?

  19. Amy says...

    Years ago I used to be a Fox watcher and voted republican. After having children, I started looking at the world differently; through the lens of love and acceptance. I intentionally challenged my own beliefs and sought out differing opinions and read and read and read. Sometimes I would be furious at what I was reading. Sometimes it was uncomfortable. But you know what, I changed a lot of my views. I was wrong before. I was closed off and not well informed, stuck in someone else’s ideology.

    I hope that since the last four years hasn’t shaken many on the right up, that maybe yesterday will. Maybe.

    • Lindsey Fox says...

      “I was wrong before.” That sentence makes me teary. All the best humans I know have used that phrase at some point or another and it’s one that speaks *volumes* of your character and spirit. Thanks for sharing. Such a great reminder for allllll of us to be open to learning and changing. Much love!

    • Maggie says...

      This is impressive. To challenge your own views and grow and educate yourself is applaud-worthy. Critical thinking isn’t practiced much in America these days. So thankful
      For people like you.

    • amelia says...

      You are so brave to share you. It’s as though you’ve experienced metamorphosis. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability.

    • Kelly says...

      Big respect, Amy!

  20. Laura says...

    I live in Atlanta and was on such a high from the history we made, only to be plunged into feeling to hopeless. Today, I’m reaching audaciously for hope.

    • Lisa says...

      Laura, this is wonderful!!! From a Californian, thank you. The MAGA fools yesterday are furious that the tide is turning and they really can’t do a damn thing about it. They are pathetic. Thank you, Georgia!!! Revel in your victory!!!

  21. SJ says...

    If you’re confused about how to help, start by reaching out to your state reps and senators (you can call, or, if that makes you nervous, email) and ask them to support—
    * The invocation of the 25th amendment
    * Impeaching and removing Trump from office (even if the 25th is invoked, impeaching would mean he could never run for office again)
    * Conducting a full federal investigation of the Capitol police department
    * Returning the House to session
    * Increasing the security measures planned for the inauguration on the 20th
    Don’t worry about having to defend your request on the phone or through email; interns answer the phone, and they track constituents’ requests. It’s a numbers game! You can do it!

    • Sarah says...

      Just did it!! Thank you SJ!

  22. Naseem says...

    all I have to say is:

    White people, do something. Organize. Dismantle this. The things that I’m talking about WILL BE uncomfortable. If you’re comfortable while doing the somethings, you’re not doing them right. Get uncomfortable and DO SOMETHING.

    You have way more power and security than BIPOC in this country, so please, move past your feelings and act. That may sound rude… but its such a privilege for you to “sit with” and “move through” your feelings. Black people have never had that luxury, because we are constantly fighting for our lives. So, join us in that fight by RESPONDING like your life depends on it.

    – Naseem, a Black and Iranian woman whose family has lived through state uprisings and violent racism.

    • Lark says...

      Naseem,
      I agree. As a white woman, I have heard racism out of the mouths of those around me who make the assumption that I share the same beliefs. I don’t.
      Also, a few years ago, my 18 year old white daughter got a $50 cash bonus from her boss. She went to Nordstrom and was trying to buy something with that $50 bill, that ended up being counterfeit. The clerk politely told her she couldn’t take the bill because it was fake and handed it back to her. No security was called. No police were called. Nothing. We talk about that day a lot. My kids know that if she had a different complexion, she would not have been treated that way. The George Floyd case proved that.
      We, as white people, must stand up against racism.

    • Karen says...

      Thank you, Naseem!
      So right about everything!

  23. annie says...

    the whole thing was a disgusting, pathetic show of trumpism at its ugliest. i sincerely hope the fbi targets every single one of the insurgents at the capitol building and sends them straight to prison. that’s where terrorists belong.

    the only, ONLY, thing trump deserves in this world is to be stripped of his title, locked up, and denounced as a white supremacist who failed, loudly, to steal this election. the 25th amendment absolutely should be invoked, and failing that, this dude should be impeached. no matter that 13 scant days remain of his ‘presidency’ (although i never saw him preside over anything other than his own twitter account).

    any republican willing to continue standing on the side of this man is deplorable. if you have a republican rep in your state, you best be calling them to let them know exactly how you feel. channel that rage into your civic duty. and if you have republican friends that you consider close, you best be sorting them out. i believe in having conversations that contain disagreements and this is a very important one. people won’t learn until they learn and we can all be a part of that. blind eyes won’t do. this isn’t going to end here. let’s get to work, people.

  24. GF says...

    Please call these people what they are and what they would have been labeled if they were any other color but what… terrorists. These are terrorists.

    • Debbie Finchum says...

      As were the rioters that were looting and burning cities. If you didn’t say anything then, you shouldn’t speak up now.

    • Ana D says...

      Debbie, you’re drawing a false equivalency. What happened yesterday were explicit acts of domestic terror fomented by the president on live TV.

      Sometimes peaceful protestors have individuals join up and take violent action against people and property, and that’s wrong. And every person I know, liberal and conservative, agrees that it is wrong and speaks against it.

      And even if someone didn’t call out acts of violence coinciding with peaceful protests previously, that does not negate their responsibility to speak up now nor does it lessen the discrete impact of yesterday’s domestic terror attacks. There’s no “you started it” and “it takes two to tango”. This was an abusive terrorist attack founded on lies spoken freely by our president. No picture frame of faux neutrality or equivalency reduces a single iota of these horrific actions by domestic terrorists maurauding as “patriots”.

    • Shamayal Jawed says...

      They were indeed terrorists. The only thing that kept them from being called so is that they were white and carried Trump flags. BLM protestors burning down/looting a few business isnt the same as storming the Capitol building while the legislators were inside. Do you know what would have happened had armed people threatened and then stormed a Macys or Nordstrom while shoppers were inside? Especially if they happened to be POC? The police would have been there very quickly and neutralized the threat. Here the capitol police took selfies with the terrorists.

    • Lisa says...

      Debbie, give me a freaking break. Yesterday showed exactly why people of color protest. Because they NEVER would have been handled the way the white lowlifes were handled yesterday. They were taking SELFIES with the police. Demanding equal treatment is a world away from throwing a temper tantrum because your idiot leader LOST an election fair and square. “We love you, you’re special”- Trump is mentally ill. Please educate yourself and don’t tell anyone when they should or shouldn’t speak up.

    • Suz-Girdy says...

      Wait, Debbi Finchum do you know the great yet elusive identify of The GF?!?!?! Stop it.

    • Sydney says...

      The people who looted during the BLM protests (who were usually not part of the protests itself but taking advantage of police being elsewhere) are not terrorists. They are, at worst, thieves who robbed mass produced products from big box stores, maybe because they were opportunist or maybe because they are tired of people who put more value in Uniqlo’s merchandise or a large TV than the lives of their community members.

      The people who intentionally went to the capital yesterday for the sole purpose to cause mayhem, destruction and spread terror to stop our elected representatives from doing their job, are terrorists. They were armed (BLM protesters are NEVER armed), terrorized staffers and journalists, broke priceless artifacts, violated the sanctity of someone’s private office and generally acted like the violent, irrational, threatening people for the purpose of sowing fear to get what they want. That’s what terrorist do. If you can’t see the difference, I can only assume it’s willful. But maybe you should try.

    • Helga Thomsen says...

      Debbie Finchum: conversely, if you did speak up then you should speak up now.

  25. constancesuze says...

    Over 90% of the Black Lives Matter protests were peaceful.
    There’s also kind of a difference in protesting against police brutality/systemic racism and trying to overturn the results of a democratic election.

    • sosusam says...

      Perfectly put, @constancesuze Quite a difference!

    • Cay says...

      Yes, and let us remember that there is quite a difference between illegally entering your local Target to protest a racist system versus illegally entering our nation’s Capitol to disrupt the peaceful democratic transition of presidential power.

    • Anne says...

      Yes! Thank you!

  26. A says...

    On Tuesday night I went to bed crying tears of joy and relief… a Black man, and a Jew, elected to represent Georgia, to allow a realignment of power, and to send a message to the GOP that they need to do more than just kiss Trump’s ring to win elections. Then less than 24 hours later, to see the confederate flag paraded through the halls of the Capitol, to see swastikas and other anti-semitic imagery worn by a violent mob that our president says he “loves.” I want to say that the former is America, not the latter… but the truth is, these are both America. And it will be a long time (if ever) before our collective heart is not torn in two by this schism.

  27. Julie says...

    White supremacist terrorists. Aided and abetted by Capitol Hill police. Acting with impunity. For shame.

    • AMK says...

      💯

  28. Ruth says...

    Yesterday’s news instantly brought to mind the Reichstag fire…

    • Sasha L says...

      I thought of this too. Such a terrifying path we are on……

  29. Becca Grubbs says...

    My 5 year old daughter goes to pre-school at a synagogue in Arlington, VA, right across the Potomac from DC. DC, Arlington and Alexandria, VA had 6 pm curfews last night. They found swastikas and many other hateful symbols in the Capitol. Today my daughters pre-school was closed because they were afraid to gather small Jewish children together. Afraid for their f*&^ing little toddler lives. In America. What the actual fuck.

    • Sasha L says...

      That’s just brutally horrible

    • meg says...

      i’m so sorry.

    • Adel says...

      That is awful. Sending thoughts and prayers. I would really love to see more coverage of antisemetic racism on this blog (although I pray that it is never needed in the future) I was truly puzzled and disappointed when major incidents such as the Pittsburg terrorist attack and the Jersey City Jewish grocery shooting were not given the coverage and empathy that other racist horrors are.

    • Kristiana says...

      Agree w Adel’s follow up…

    • Karen says...

      Awful! Makes me want to scream and then throw up for days. I‘m so sorry for you and your daughter!

    • Sara says...

      This is awful. Agreed, would like to see more coverage of antisemitism on this blog. Unfortunately as a Jew none of this ever feels surprising…

  30. M says...

    THE PEACH
    I get up because it is the only thing I can do
    and whatever I accomplish today will be
    nothing like what they did today.
    They haltingly called up a bright orange bulb
    to nourish this dark world.
    They crossed signatures in churchyards.
    Delivered meals to long lines.
    Told people to wait and wait.
    For the reckoning.
    For the sweet reward.
    For the budding fruit.
    All the while a murder of crows
    taunted them in their own backyard
    with threatening tapes and deadly pecks.
    Yes, whatever I do today
    will be nothing like they did.
    They tended a pink blossom into sweet fruit,
    and coaxed it to rise and fly
    over the swamp of darkness.
    Its soft orange outside, its bright yellow flesh,
    its broad leaves, its rooted core,
    bearing the sunrise of the world.
    Yes, slicing a sweet new day for all of us.
    Yes, I get up because the only thing
    I can do this morning is take a bite,
    fingers dripping with delight,
    and give thanks for the bright light.

    Wrote this yesterday morning for all the organizers in Georgia, and then, well, the rest of the day happened. I’m so pissed that the work of the organizers to save our democracy is now overshadowed by a coup, who attempted to overthrow that very democracy. It was intentional and predictable. White retaliation and privileged and power and supremacy in full display.

    • Lakshmi says...

      Such a lovely poem! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem.

    • Alex says...

      So beautiful. Thank you for this, M.

    • Hayley says...

      This is brilliant and so beautiful. Thank you for writing and for sharing it with us!

    • Heather says...

      Really love this – thank you for sharing

  31. Laura says...

    Our eyes were popping out of our heads watching live from the UK as the building was stormed by MAGA supporters with seemingly no-one stopping them.

    I cannot understand where the protection for the building and the people in it were and I cannot understand how these people weren’t treated with urgency. Where were the arrests and sense of agency from troops, police, etc etc. Especially after watching the BLM marches of the last year. How heartbreaking that black people were treated so so differently during peaceful protests when this misguided mob were allowed to act like this.

    Also, how fucking scary the deep level of misinformation that has utterly convinced these people that the election has been stolen, and how totally right they believe they are, fighting for their ‘Freedom’. Where does the world go from here with this beast of conspiracy theory unleashed?

    My heart breaks for America, but I hope that the next presidency will turn it around.

    The arc of history bends towards justice and so we have to believe that the US and therefore the world will move on. The senate and the house are in good hands.

  32. Betsy says...

    I’m not shocked at all by the shenanigans that transpired yesterday. But I am disheartened, to say the least. I can only hope that things will improve in the future. But the divisiveness in our country seems almost unsurmountable. Both parties need to acknowledge their contributions to this, before I think we can heal and move forward. I’m not a prayer kind of gal, but I have hope. I refuse to believe that we as a nation, aren’t better than this.

    • Naseem says...

      We aren’t better than this, Betsy. This is how we have always been. We have to do more than hope.

      I’m sorry if this comes across as rude. I have just seen too many people who look like me and my boyfriend and my mom and my brother die because (white) people refuse to believe what black people have been saying for DECADES.

    • Lee says...

      To be very clear, those were not “shenanigans” that was violence and illegal acts. If a mob came into your house or place of work or worship to burn it down….. you would not be so mild. Respected public servants were huddled together under desks wearing gas masks afraid to peak from their perch as they we worried about being shot. We are talking about grandparents and parents and peoples children who were held hostage by a rioting mob. Please use language that actually describes the things that happened to make our history accurate. Own the disgust and fear, Name what you saw on tv or in person, Act to make it better with clarity and kindness- hope is not a plan

    • anni says...

      Thank you Naseem!

    • Ana D says...

      Both parties didn’t contribute to this, Betsy. This was requested and fomented by a Republican president as an output of his consistently debunked conspiracy theories that were supported by dozens of Republican elected officials.

      No Democratic elected officials supported these false claims. Your attempted false equivalency between parties is inaccurate and counterproductive to the ongoing violent challenges these domestic terrorists will continue to pose in our country.

    • Sharon says...

      Shenanigans? Try absolutely disgusting violence and treasonous acts perpetrated by terrorists, white supremacists, Neo-Nazis and fascists. Obviously, we are NOT better than this…the poor excuse for a human being in the White House for the last 4 years has been building this for the whole time.

    • Helga Thomsen says...

      I’m so tired of this ‘both sides’ business. Both sides didn’t attempt to execute an insurrection on Wednesday. One side did. The side waiving confederate flags and wearing ‘Auschwitz Camp’ t-shirts. The secret service had to escort the Vice President and members of congress to safe locations while one side desecrated the seat of our democracy and ransacked federal offices. One side had the privilege of walking away. I did not defend looters during the civil rights protests earlier this year and am astonished by all the voices downplaying what happened on Wednesday. Shenanigans? Hell no. This was an attempted coup aided and abetted by the sitting President.

  33. miriam says...

    I see a lot of white commentators speak up to condemn what happened. But saying how shocked, appalled, embarrassed or ashamed you are, does very little. Take a moment to hang your head in shame and sorrow, sure. There is deep grief and trauma here for everyone. But afterwards, you need to pull yourself together, and face up to those pro-Trump family members, neighbours etc many commentators above mention.

    For you to say that you couldn’t talk to your parents today because they’re praising the events, that you watched as you overheard people in your community talk about it with glee, or that the pro-trump people you know wouldn’t do something like this… that is complicity and acquiescence, and such a goddamn privilege. Do you see that, what it means that you can choose to turn your face away from the people you know in your life, who are furthering this narrative? What does sharing your shame and shock on a comment thread achieve, when you will not confront your own people when they show the symptoms of this?

    You are enabling these things to continue with your silence and your shame.

    You can’t leave the work to BIPOC. White people, this is your mess, and you need to roll up your sleeves and deal with it.

    And CoJ – could you fact check and remove the hateful conspiracy-peddling that has appeared in this thread, please? It is an infection and needs to be stamped out wherever you find it.

    • meghan says...

      +1 !!!

    • Kate says...

      YES!!

    • Sasha L says...

      Miriam, thank you for this. You are 100% correct.

    • Ashley says...

      I agree with all of these comments that yesterday was one of the craziest things I have ever seen. Basically everyone is saying we need to speak up, white people aren’t doing enough, etc. Only a few people have touched on what I think is the reality for many who know someone on the opposite side of the aisle, is that people are so entrenched in their views at this point, there are very few instances where these conversations lead to anything productive. I realize as a white woman I can never understand what Black people go through, but I think the majority of people in this country are anti-racist and we did speak up with our vote. I honestly don’t know how to change the racist, pro-Trump people (including my dad). They are so beyond reason it’s like talking to a rock. I’m just waiting for them to die (assuming a lot of them are boomers) and everyone else will teach our kids better and that’s how I hope it’s going to keep changing.

    • Ana D says...

      Ashley, keep trying. Read a new book, talk to a new therapist, keep going. Anti-racism isn’t just for voting and one time awkward convos. You know more people than your dad. Keep taking chances and speaking truth to him and in all contexts. Don’t let a lie or aspersion or racial epithet go unchallenged. This not one and done. It’s a lifetime. Keep going. This is Pilates, not skydiving. It’s not a once in a lifetime shot. It’s a lifetime of changing and trying and efforting. – a white woman.

  34. Anna says...

    I don’t know how correct it is that that the photo of senate aides was taken during the siege. I’ve heard conflicting reports. Odd that two of those women are even smiling big under their masks during that? Anyway, I think a more appropriate photo or video to display should be of the sole Black guard warding off white militia/rioters with nothing but a baton, or the Black and Brown workers cleaning up Capitol Hill afterwards, the very mess left behind by the white supremacists who want to ruin BIPOC lives.

    • Annie says...

      Totally agree that a better photo to share would be that of the BIPOC workers cleaning up the mess the terrorists left behind.

  35. Jenny says...

    I’m from DC, anyone who’s lived there can tell you that yesterday is not supposed to happen. I live in Seattle and participated in the BLM protests last summer. I was pepper sprayed and gassed by our city’s police more times than I can count, I watched as the National Guard staged outside of my apartment for weeks, I listened as army and police helicopters circled above the city for weeks, and I bailed my friends out of jail. I also have a mother who lived through a (US backed) coup in Nicaragua. She called me crying yesterday. This is not why she moved to the US. This is not the American Dream. This was not supposed to happen here. I will never attempt to understand anyone who participated or supports these terrorists. I don’t want to understand them. This isn’t over, we have a lot of work ahead.

  36. Kate says...

    UGH thank you for being responsible and creating space and opening dialogue for this conversation, Joanna. Even though it’s hard and not pretty to look at.
    As a white woman, I am OUTRAGED that other (mostly) white people were allowed to act in this manner and put so many people in danger with hardly any consequences! Truly this was an act of TERRORISM that goes so beyond white privilege. This is white supremacy ONCE AGAIN rearing its ugly head. I urge every white person to reach out to your electeds about holding these people, and the President, accountable for their behavior. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for this.

  37. Jane I. says...

    For anyone who is absolutely baffled and shaking their heads wondering how even after ALL the corruption, lies, deceit, etc… from Trump that anyone in their right mind could EVER support him, please listen to this and share with friends/family because I think it explains a lot:

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/losing-relatives-to-fox-news/id1380008439?i=1000501585371

    This is an episode of the podcast You’re Wrong About called “Losing Relatives to Fox News.”

    It’s from before the election but I think it clearly explains with some alarming research why there is such a gross divide between Americans over their political beliefs.

    Listening to this episode sent chills over my body and not in a good way. I want to believe that Trump was the beginning and the end of this kind of polarization, but that may not be the case. Not all hope is lost, but we certainly need to start having SMARTER, not harder, conversations with our friends/family who are more easily susceptible to misinformation.

  38. Quyen Nguyen says...

    There are many white people on social media with hundreds of thousands of followers that have not posted on this issue. Instead, they say they are dealing with this issue privately or they don’t want to address politics on their platform. If white people were being treated like black people, you bet their ass they would speak up!

    SILENCE IS VIOLENCE. White people, this is not the time to stay silent.

  39. Eloise says...

    Thank you so very much for this. I am beyond horrified and terrified that this (x’s a ton) is going to repeat on 1/20.

  40. Sara says...

    Thank you for this post, Joanna. I live in DC and work on Pennsylvania Ave, just up the street from where is terror ensued. To see our city overrun with terrorists was shocking and heart wrenching and confusing. To know that 2 of the people there were my in-laws, my husband’s mom and dad, is even more shocking, heart wrenching and confusing. To see people who identify as Christians, who paid for our wedding, and welcome us into their homes act in this manner and believe these conspiracies is devastating for me, my husband, and his siblings. The divide in the country is massive, and perhaps even bigger within a family that from the outside looks pretty normal. The shame, anger and outrage I feel towards them is difficult to put into words.

    • Laura says...

      Sara, I am so sorry you are in this position with your own family. There is nothing harder than having to hold that shame and anger. I feel similar about my position in my family. Plenty of folx are say that we, as the family members of people under the sway of Tr*mp need to do more, to speak up. But how do you do that? Anytime I open my mouth, literally everyone in my family walks away from me or stonewalls me or even worse, berates me. I have been putting my energy toward activism. But, really, how do we begin to heal when there seems no way forward? How do we stay accountable to the Black people in our lives when all of my efforts with my own parents seem to push them further away not just from me, but from my values. I’m really stuck. And I feel you. Shame and anger, disappointment and pain. Sending big hugs.

    • Emily says...

      Turn those relatives in to law enforcement. If you really want to take action & help hold people accountable you need to share what you know with the FBI so charges can be brought

    • Tasha says...

      Sorry to hear that Sara, but nothing you can do can change what has happened. My feeling is that you cannot control other people’s actions – only yours. No family is perfect, but family is family. I think it’s ridiculous to be advised to turn your own family in. What is this world becoming? Nazi Germany in modern America?

    • Anon says...

      Tasha, actually yes this is very much like Nazi Germany, these are actual terrorists we’re talking about. It’s not ridiculous for Emily to suggest to turn these people in – it is the only way forward, not just sitting around and talking about doing something, but actually doing something.

  41. Debi says...

    This is not a conversation that should end when the day is done. This is a conversation that should happen monthly. What happened yesterday—the people that participated and those that are out in droves showing their support online—are not going anywhere. This is NOT a problem that will be solved in Washington. If ever there is a time for women to truly unite, the time is now. The future of America’s children depends on us, using our collective brainpower, time and energy to meet the insidious racism that plagues our country head on and craft real solutions that are effective on a local level.

  42. Leslie says...

    Thank you, Joanna! This post and the reader comments are so important and so appreciated. Sending love.

  43. Marion says...

    Joanna, Thank you for your thoughtful comments. What occurred yesterday was awful and shocking. I am appalled that so few in that mob of terrorists were arrested and that the police seemed to do nothing to stop them. It was such a clear example of white privilege. The police who stood by and did nothing were US Capitol Police, not DC Metropolitan police. I hope many of them are fired and an investigation is opened to understand why they were so unprepared given Trump’s repeated false claims and incendiary remarks. I pray that Trump will be removed from office under the the 25th amendment.

  44. Marisa says...

    I hope that lawmakers who had to hide in terror under chairs and desks might finally be moved to act on gun reform. What they had to do is considered normal for kindergarteners in this country.

    • Sasha L says...

      A fucking men. My thoughts as well.

    • M says...

      Absolutely agree

    • Rachel says...

      I was thinking about this as well.
      Probably not, though. They won’t change.

    • Kim Kallman says...

      Well said Marisa.

    • Isabella says...

      Mother of a kindergartener here, ugly-crying over the horrible truth of this comment.

  45. Irina says...

    I agree with a lot of the earlier comments. I do have one thought in the back of my mind that continues to bug me: why did the members of Congress act so fearfully? It was… just sad, I don’t know how else to put it. Sad to see them hiding under benches. I mean, the Senators and Representatives represent, us, the people, right? Was that the best response that we the people could offer in the face of a mob of extremist vandals? Is that what we wanted this mob to see? That we – or our representatives – are afraid of them? And is this what we wanted the entire country and the entire world to see?

    Yes, I get it, there is a big “safety first” culture in this country. But, there are times to stand up tall and straight, especially for those who are public figures and politicians, and say, “This is OUR Capitol. This is where we do the work that the people – including you – have entrusted us with. Now get out of here; we have a job to do.” All these politicians were so brave on Twitter… not so much in real life.

    • Emily says...

      Some of the terrorists yesterday took in pipe bombs & guns. It’s ok to not want to be a martyr against them.

    • M says...

      Ummm…the terrorists had guns and bombs?

    • Angela says...

      Um, Irina, I think you’re confused about elected officials. They are public servants, but they are not paid, not under ANY obligation to die for their country. Maybe we could not blame the victims of a murderous mob?

  46. Sara says...

    Here is why yesterday was a complete failure on all levels for the Capitol Hill police. All of the House and all of the Senate were in one building. When this scenario happened during State of the Union, all federal, military and every kind of protection you can think of was wall to wall protecting them. In this case, only Capitol Hill was handling it. The only person not there this time was Donald. It seems bizarre to even say this but there could have easily been an execution room had the mob gotten into there. Even if the mob wouldn’t have gone that far, plenty of international groups like ISIS just got a play book in how to get into our Capitol. Disgraceful and those who participated should be disciplined, fired, etc to the full extent. That includes Donald.

  47. Lena says...

    “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.”
    so very true.
    And here is what Trump tweeted July 28, 2020
    “Anarchists, Agitators or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues & Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it! @DHSgov”
    hm, ok then …

  48. Mary says...

    For any Canadians here who think we’re above that- NOPE. Did you see what happened to Mi’kmaq fishermen protesting for their right to a moderate livelihood? RCMP stood by and did NOTHING while white supremacists threatened and used violence against them.

    White supremacy is alive and well in Canada.

    • Meghan says...

      Hear, hear.

    • Heather says...

      You are absolutely right. It is important that you mentioned this. As Gord Downie (of the Tragically Hip) said “ Canada is not Canada. We are not the country we think we are.”

    • L says...

      Thanks for mentioning this, Mary.
      And let’s not forget that the Pr**d B*ys originated here in Canada as well. We are a nation of racism, colonization, and white supremacy, hiding under the guise of politeness and niceness. There is so much work to be done.

    • Ker says...

      Such a good point. Also, trucks displaying pro-Trump flags drove past my apartment in Toronto while the riots were occurring in DC on Jan 6. There is a hardcore right wing element up here too.

    • Flora says...

      Thank you for this important reminder Mary. Too often in Canada, and in many other pre-dominantly white countries, we simply watch the US and shake our heads, as if the problems don’t also exist where we live. We should take these events as impetus to examine our own systems and hold the tough conversations at home.

  49. Shari says...

    Speaking from abroad here so I’m no expert. I also don’t condone violence and law breaking to be clear but…
    Do you think Trump supporters need to be listened to and to have some closure?There are a heck of a lot of them … Surely all sides need to be listened to in order to bring peace going forward?
    There was an example of gang gun violence in our communities recently. Church leaders, other community leaders, victims families and gang leaders got together, listened, and progress for the greater good was actually made. Thinking of you in the U.S

    • Eva says...

      No, nazis do not need to be “listened to.”

    • Emily says...

      No. When people are this far into the cult there is no “middle ground for discussion”. Years of people being “kind and listening” has emboldened these terrorists to the point they were at in attempting a coup yesterday.

    • Sasha L says...

      No, I think actually they’ve already been given way too much attention and voice. They are not rational. Not logical. Not open. At all. Not empathetic. They are criminals who’ve been given a free pass and they need to be jailed. We’ve got the infrastructure for it – just let out all the racially motivated drug offenses, the non violent pot offenders. Let them rot.

    • Ramya says...

      We’ve been listening to them and their shit – personified by their messiah – for the last 4 years. No. We’re done!

    • Sally says...

      I’m not interested in listening to anyone who carries a confederate flag through the halls of our Capitol. NOPE.

    • Anon says...

      They HAVE BEEN LISTENED TO!!! By court after court after court! All evidence had shown legally again and again that their accusations of election fraud are blatantly FALSE. These people are terrorists who have decided that they don’t like the election results and are attacking the very fibre of democracy. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Hateful, authoritarian points of view do not deserve our respect, as it is those same voices that aim to kill the rights of others to speak and live in peace.

    • anni says...

      Just working thru my thoughts here (thanks Shari, thanks CupofJo)…..Kindness and listening is important, but that isn’t always what creates closure. Closure is being heard and then something actually HAPPENS: getting people their factory jobs back, the ability to actually pay for a house, giving them (well, us!!!me!!!) actual living wages and dignity in their work lives, unionized labor, benefits so they actually have their basic health needs met.
      I know this may sound simplistic and there’s lots of other factors, but the capitalist system is unfair and people are sick of being used and thrown away for the rich people to amass wealth. It just is a travesty that people have become so manipulated into becoming Trump supporters. I think you are on to something about listening! It’s just become a radically inflamed situation full of fake conspiracy theories….if we could sit down in communities and listen and reshape and reform and remake the old (racist, wrong) structures…things could be done. Then join forces and the communities would lead. This is how democracy is supposed to work, and I hope it can. I’m glad to hear something like this started to work in your community recently, Shari. I wonder if friendship and listening is the definition of radical activism. I mean that sincerely. It’s really, really hard.

    • Election challenges were given an (undeserved but legal) platform in court. They lost more than 50 times, many of them in rulings from Republican or Trump-appointed judges.

      And because they lost, they showed up with guns and zip ties and pipe bombs. This wasn’t about closure. It was about White anger and entitlement and violence.

    • Ava says...

      Nope, reasoning only works with people capable of critical thinking. These terrorist lemmings and their idiot chief have already been given more time of the day than they deserve.

    • Deana says...

      That’s a nice sentiment, but no – Trumpers are extremist nutjobs.

    • Erin says...

      Shari, unfortunately, a lot of them are radicalized to the point that they will only believe conspiracy theories- they staged an insurrection because they refused to believe that the vote count was legitimate and nothing could convince them otherwise. You can’t really listen to and reason with that because it’s way beyond reason.

    • Marte Otten says...

      In a democracy, people are heard when they vote. If one does not like the outcome of the vote in the entire population, then you get to be heard again in the next election, when you get to vote again.

    • Sharon says...

      Some of these “Trump supporters” were waving Confederate flags and wearing T-shirts that said “Camp Auschwitz” and “6MWE” (6 million wasn’t enough). These people should NOT be listened to.

  50. Anni says...

    I just watched the news in Germany. I hoped I was dreaming: Trump said he loved all the people who were there protesting, storming the Capitol, white supremacists or worse.
    I am truly shocked and in fear. He plays into the cards of Iran and so many other countries which now laugh about the democracies of the western world. Shame on you, T, for planting so much hatred during the last four years by telling lies again and again.
    How is it even possible that this person is not taken away from the White House right now.

  51. Jenifer says...

    I could not believe what I was seeing yesterday being carried out by citizens of this country. Their behavior and the destruction that they caused in the Capitol is appalling and they should lose any right to collect government funds (i.e. unemployment, stimulus checks, Social Security, etc.) immediately. The only way some will realize the error of their ways is to hit them in the pocketbook. They not only ravaged the Capitol but also hurt and terrorized their fellow citizens there doing far more damage then they will ever realize all in the name of a man who can’t accept the fact that he lost an election through legitimate means. There needs to be retribution from them.

  52. Kiana says...

    From ItV news please watch this. You will see how the mob overwhelmed the police and how they believe themselves to be the victims here. That they were robbed of the election. That this is their America, their country. If you are still in doubt about what being an American means to these people (and who is not an American), watch this:
    https://twitter.com/itvnews/status/1346952339886923786?s=20

  53. Jen says...

    Thank you for this post, Joanna and the CoJ team. So appreciate that you jump right on with what’s on all our minds.
    Watching the news from where we are overseas, I was disheartened, dismayed, disgusted. But I was neither shocked nor surprised: I’m surprised people are shocked. Trump and supporters have laid the groundwork for this for months, and if you tell people lies on repeat, they end up believing them and act accordingly. Propaganda works, is what yesterday shows. A not-insignificant number of Americans are now ready to act on whatever lies government figures concoct and feed them. To me, this is the most terrifying fact of all.

  54. Anna says...

    I feel, like so many others, so many things. Mostly, my heart is breaking.

    I see the clear racial privilege on the display, the unfairness of it all. A literal Confederate flag in the halls of the United States Capitol. The years of rhetoric and enablement that has led us to this place. The fact that if this had been a rally of BLM, Capitol Police would have been over prepared and would have used much more force. The righteous, righteous anger of blue America.

    And I also see red America, where I grew up in Missouri. I see people I love deeply who feel the country shifting and changing beneath their feet and are afraid. Who are clinging to a time and place that probably only exists in a cloud of nostalgia and yet wish to go back. What they want is not the way forward for America, and yet I love them.

    I see both of these sides and my prayer and fervent hope is we can find a way to knit together and together to build – not implode – our country.

    I know many people on the right and left who feel this is no longer possible. That there is no “middle ground” and that the value sets of blue and red America are so vastly different that the only way forward is to fight against each other until one side wins. These fights are playing out on every major news organization, on all of our social media feeds and across every extended family in the country. If we continue down this path of infighting, what I suspect will happen and what history teaches us will happen is that our global enemies will emerge the victors.

    For all her faults, I still believe America is the greatest country in the history of the world. She is worth fighting for. As Obama has said, no one living today has the right to be cynical about America. All of us – even the most disenfranchised – enjoy more freedoms than most people in the entire history of humanity have enjoyed.

    These freedoms are fragile, and there is not only upside to be had. America today – even this scene from yesterday – is not the worst it could get, and we must find a way to fight together for her.

    • Alycia says...

      What are the people in Missouri and other red states afraid of, Anna? That they will become the oppressed instead of having all the power? I really don’t care that someone is upset that Black people have the same rights as they do.

      And that’s a very romantic thing for Obama to have said and for you to believe. But it’s just not true. Like the guy says at the beginning of Newsroom “And with a straight face, you’re gonna tell students that America is so star-spangled awesome that we’re the only ones in the world who have freedom? Canada has freedom. Japan has freedom…”

      This is not a new look for America, this is how we have always been since the beginning, people are just finally paying attention.

    • Maya says...

      “All of us – even the most disenfranchised – enjoy more freedoms than most people in the entire history of humanity have enjoyed.” – As a person from a developing country, I can tell you that this is blatantly untrue. America’s disenfranchised are NOT in a position of privileged, and it’s this kind of exceptional delusion that’s gotten America where it is today. Please look inward and introspect about the blatant injustice and racism in your country instead of lauding it for imaginary achievements.

    • Kristin says...

      I didn’t grow up in Missouri, but have lived here for the past 18 years. I am not friends with any of these frightened, racist, Republicans, so it has been a huge shock to see them all over Facebook comments. I deleted the governor’s page two days ago because of all of the hate there (no real loss). I don’t know what they are afraid of, besides losing their privilege. I wish they could see how much else they will lose and have already lost because of their beliefs and attitudes. I don’t really know what I am trying to say, except that not all of MO is red and racist!

    • AN says...

      This is required watching. Thank you for sharing!

  55. Liz says...

    But someone was shot. A woman (white) died. Three others died of injuries.

    • Sasha L says...

      As far as I’ve seen, all those who died were terrorists committing insurrection against the United States of America. One woman shot. Three died of “medical conditions” (heart attacks? Maybe they should’ve made sure they were healthy enough to commit terrorism against their own country).

      What the fuck did they expect? Hundreds would’ve been shot of they’d been anything other than white supremacists, who were clearly aided and abetted by the police. The officer that shot that woman deserves a medal.

    • Alycia says...

      A cop died too. So much for “Blue Lives Matter”. Guess that goes out the window when they are too busy destroying democracy and taking selfies.

    • Rachel says...

      Sasha L, whoa. Violence is not the answer. Murder is never justified. Neither is domestic terrorism. There were so many wrongs committed.

    • Madeline says...

      No one is saying that’s ok.

      While you point out that fact, I’d kindly suggest you think about these questions:

      1. People got hurt. Who or what is to blame for that?
      2. Could this have been avoided? And if so, how?

      If you consider the circumstances around this pain, it’s not unreasonable NOT JUST to focus on the deaths, but also on the reasons for those deaths. Actually, I think you’ll find that the mercy and sympathy people have for terrorists and their agitators is, in fact, limited–and for good reason.

  56. Ange says...

    Remember when 302 protesters were arrested on Capitol Hill for demonstrating against Cavanaugh’s nomination?
    For those of you saying “this isn’t America, this isn’t what we stand for”; this is exactly America, a country built on white supremacy. The system is working exactly the way they intend it to. Wake up and get to work.

  57. R says...

    I’m honestly going numb. I live in Philly and was at the marches this past summer. I remember the tear gas and the national guard with huge guns and the police attacking people just for walking peacefully. I also remember talking to my family afterward and all they focused on were the “violent looters” and the windows that’d been broken.

    Closer to the election, my family became terrified for my safety because “antifa was going to blow up my city.” They begged me to leave and come home. But yesterday? Not a peep.

    When I spoke to them last night, they didn’t ask how I was, didn’t ask about my safety, didn’t seem to care that I sounded sad and afraid. They didn’t mention any violence. And when I said I was furious about what happened at the Capitol, they didn’t agree. There was just dead air, and I could hear Fox News on in the background.

    I’m so sad today that they aren’t people I can turn to in these times, or have logical or supportive conversations with. They were once level-headed and cared about others, but over the past four years have drank the Trump kool-aid, and there’s no talking them out of it.

    Everything’s an immediate argument, and I’m left stunned by their words. How can they not see they’re supporting chaos and terrorism? They’re so quick to tell me Trump is a “great man” and have even said “he’s never done anything wrong.” I’m thankful for this post so I can talk with sensible people for a change and feel a little less isolated.

    • Sasha L says...

      R, I’m so sorry. I wish I could hug you in person. This is so so hard. It’s like they have all joined a cult. Sending you love.

  58. Sonia says...

    I’m grateful you don’t shy away from initiating conversations about the hard things– systemic racism, violence, intolerance. I have trouble being part of any community that ignores what is happening around us.

  59. Lauren E. says...

    “Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,” right? Seems to me they were following orders.

    I can’t put into words the sadness and disgust I felt and still feel over what happened yesterday. Every aspect of it. The white privilege, the hate pouring out of everyone on those steps and in those halls, the blatant disrespect for our governments and its processes. I know everyone keeps saying we shouldn’t be surprised but I am. I am continually surprised. I guess I just always expect more of the American people.

  60. Thank you for acknowledging what happened, Joanna, and especially for taking a clear stand for truth. We must call yesterday what it was: terrorism, abetted by white supremacy. Thank you for not being afraid to say it. We need to hear it.

    • Laura says...

      Very well said!

    • Laura says...

      Hear hear

  61. Katherine says...

    Thank you for mentioning the delay in deploying the National Guard. I have been a DC resident since 2003, and this particular point highlights the importance of DC statehood – an issue that has been ignored or sidelined by those living outside the District since long before I moved here.

    DC’s population is larger than Vermont’s or Wyoming’s, yet we’re not a state. We don’t have senators, and our lone Congresswoman (Elenor Holmes Norton) isn’t allowed to vote in Congress. Worse still, our locally elected officials must obtain permission from Federal offices to do just about anything. Here’s a quote from Brookings: ‘D.C. is governed by Home Rule, which allows Congress to invalidate any law or initiative the D.C. government or its voters pass.’

    Please let that sink in. Congress can *invalidate* any law or initiative – even those voted into action by DC residents… such as DC statehood (which has been repeatedly supported by residents), and changes to our gun laws (which are treated as a political football by elected officials from other states).

    This is why it took so long for the National Guard to arrive on the scene yesterday – our Mayor’s request for reinforcements was ignored or denied by federal authorities. Neighboring states Maryland and Virginia sent in their guards-members before Pence finally caved.

    Yesterday’s disaster underscores the vital importance of DC statehood. If we were a state, the response would have happened faster. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that DC statehood is vital to our national security, and the health of the nation.

    Why do you think DC is not yet a state? It’s because the vast majority of our population is black/brown, and extremely liberal (yes, voter suppression and racism show their ugly faces again).

    DC statehood would mean adding *two more democratic senators*.

    For everyone excited about what happened in Georgia yesterday – DC Statehood should be the next cause you support.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!! so well said, Katherine.

    • Ramya says...

      Amen! As a fellow DC resident. #NoTaxationWithoutRepresentation

    • Heather says...

      Yes to this – DC Statehood is on my wishlist – things that seem so logical, but as you pointed out, aren’t supported for merely political/power reasons.

    • Ari says...

      Yes! From a fellow DC resident.

    • Jen says...

      Yes! Statehood for DC and Puerto Rico need to be top priorities. It’s horrible that thee citizens don’t have proper representation!

    • AN says...

      I was encouraged to see the first bullet point in Mayor Bowser’s first-100-days agenda for the Biden administration be DC statehood. It’s well beyond time.

    • Liz says...

      Yes! DC residents deserve better.

    • Kim says...

      As a fellow DC resident, THANK YOU for making the statehood connection and case so eloquently and explicitly!

    • Emma says...

      Exactly, from a fellow DC resident.

    • SL says...

      This x 1000. I moved to the Virginia side of the river after 5+ years in DC in large part because of DC’s lack of representation. Yesterday illustrated in stark and violent fashion the consequences of DC lacking statehood. Virginia National Guard came zooming by my house on the way to the city before the DC National Guard could be fully activated.

      Thank you for addressing this today, I am feeling so incredibly angry that these white supremacists were allowed to terrorize and defile our institutions, and so devastated that the same people in positions of power who instigated this insurrection have also so completely abdicated their responsibility for managing the pandemic that we cannot safely gather together as friends to heal from this experience.

    • Yes! Thank you for highlighting this – from another long-time DC resident.

    • Catherine Rodecker says...

      Yes!!! 100% agree with DC statehood

    • TRose says...

      Yes! Another D.C. resident here- so well said. <3

    • Laurel says...

      I had no idea!

    • Alexia says...

      Yes! Thank you Katherine. A friend sent me a post from Sam Sanders pointing out that DC citizens have had to endure a coup without any representation. The US cannot consider itself a democracy when 700,000 citizens are stripped of their right for representation.

    • Carly Travis says...

      this was so insightful! Thank you.

    • Sarah says...

      As another fellow DC resident, hear hear!! Hopeful that this year we will finally become a state.

    • Erin says...

      Chiming in with another yes from a fellow DC resident!

    • Jenny says...

      Yes! From a former resident of the District.

    • Tanya says...

      Yes! +1000 from a former, 12-year DC resident. Very well said. We need to seize this moment.

    • Elise says...

      Yes! I grew up in northern Virginia, and have lived in the city for four years now. I haven’t changed my residency to DC for that reason. It’s immensely frustrating.

  62. Kate says...

    My mom who outside the US called me yesterday and kept asking where the police were? I couldn’t tell her myself.

  63. sookiestackhouse says...

    Lock. Him. Up.

  64. Ramya says...

    I’m sadly bemused by all the people expressing shock that such a thing could happen in the U.S., that we’re not a “banana republic”, etc. Wake up. Our history is built on the back of political violence, imperialism and colonization. The coups and insurrections that happen in other countries that we so often like to point our fingers at and lecture and invade in order to “restore democracy” are in many cases fomented by US. And while we are preoccupied by these things, we ignore the fact that the so-called “democracy” on which this country is built rests in fact on the annihilation of indigenous people, slavery, Jim Crow and the continued legacy of these evils. We can only hope that the events of yesterday will finally open some people’s eyes to these obvious truths.

    • Kiana says...

      This 👆

    • courtney says...

      Ramya, I kept thinking that when people were saying “This is not America.” I was thinking…”Well, it is. It’s not what we WANT America to be, and hopefully we will be better, but this is where we’re at right now.”

    • Heather says...

      Exactly – this is the natural conclusion to the past four years, in many ways. Trump boasted he could shoot someone in 5th Avenue and called White Supremacists “very fine people” in Charlottesville – having these people storm the capitol is his dream.

      I’m listening to Caste right now for a book club at work (yay work!) and it’s of course so relevant and really highlights why this is all still happening.

    • Exactly.

    • Julia says...

      Fascism is imperialism turned inward! This is what the country was set up to do! It’s been inevitably part of our country since the genocide of indigenous people began and everything that followed. Well said.

    • Elle says...

      Per usual—-a bunch of comments from self righteous, hypocritical, and judgmental Cup of Jo readers. Broaden your minds a little and don’t be so black & white. People like you are the reason there is so much division and unrest in the country.

    • Ramya says...

      Elle – where’s the “self righteous, hypocritical, and judgmental” in what I posted or in the responses? Go on, we’re waiting for your insights.

    • Elle says...

      Was not meant to be attached to your comment. My apologies to you. I must have hit the wrong “reply”. Was responding to the curated group of one-sided non-nuanced responses as a whole.

  65. Elise says...

    I live four blocks from the capitol building in D.C. Protesting and rallies are common here. I see them being carried out on a weekly basis. But the display from Trump supporters yesterday was unreal. I cannot begin to express the rage and hopelessness I feel over the injustice and hypocrisy of it all. I had to change my routes home during the BLM protests because of the police barricades, the hundreds of SWAT team officers, and the TANKS blocking the streets. The lack of security measures present in the city yesterday when the United States Capitol building was OVERRUN WITH ARMED CIVILIANS was shocking. Most people I know were sent home from work early, and we were on lockdown. But that’s about it. I’m back at work today. That’s the most unsettling part. We’re all supposed to go back to work, and about our daily lives as if an act of terrorism wasn’t just committed on our own soil and by our own citizens? The amount of unchecked power and control to oppress that these people hold is terrifying.

    • Annie says...

      Thank you for sharing. It’s helpful to hear from a DC resident who literally sees the differences in how protection is afforded.

    • Leda says...

      Agreed. I’m a few blocks away from the Capitol and have been struggling to focus at work today. My daughter and her classmates discussed their feelings about yesterday — hearing booms and sirens for hours and not being allowed to go outside. It breaks my heart, and is deeply upsetting. We need to address continuing inequities and disparate treatment, as well as ongoing threats to our democratic project.

      Also echoing the poster that we need DC statehood now. DC residents – contrary to some opinions – are also real Americans. We are mothers, sisters, children, friends, and patriots. Many of us have dedicated our lives to public service — eschewing higher paid jobs to serve the American people. We also pay more per capita in taxes than any state but are treated like political pawns and like children. It’s time for all Americans to support DC!

  66. cee says...

    And so here’s the other thing…let’s not get caught up in this cycle of a horrible event followed by “shock” and “disbelief” and then inaction. What happened yesterday and has BEEN happening in our country must be fought by all of us every day.

    • Lilly says...

      Agreed. I’m Canadian and the most horrifying but not at all shocking thing has been the parallels/contrasts (and we are not exempt.)

      In contrast: by day 2 of the George Floyd protests in Chicago, which did not have anywhere near this level of premeditation, there were more than 2,700 people arrested. An armed, premeditated, pseudo coup attempt on your capitol with 4 dead? 20 arrests. Lock them all up.

      In parallel, up here: echoes of how the RCMP sat back and watched attacks/ fires/ assaults on indigenous fishermen in Digby.

      Whiteness gets away with a lot in a culture of white supremacy and colonial imperialism.

    • Fiona says...

      YES. Amen sis

    • jules says...

      The cops were waving them in. WV law enforcement led the charge. Some of this had to be expected, possibly coordinated. Inside job is a strong word but they were sympathizers minimally. Lots of cops are Trumpers and I’m sure many have veered into Qanon territory. It’s not just about race. Cops tasered many a white protester this summer and they arrrested hundreds of protestors at the Kavanaugh hearings. They are aligned with the cause.

  67. Stephanie says...

    What speaks volumes to me, above all else, is Trump’s bold declaration of admiration and foreshadowed nostalgia for what took place yesterday:

    “Go home with love and in peace. Remember this day forever!”

    I see so much disagreement online about who really stormed the capitol, comparisons to protests that took place over the summer, etc. But does any of that really matter if our sitting present condoned the coup?

    What a disgrace.

    • Stephanie says...

      Oh! I want to clarify that I 100% believe those were Trump supporters (not Antifa, as I’m seeing shared widely online). I just think the fact that Trump is in full support makes the Antifa argument a moot point. And I don’t understand why this isn’t obvious to everyone.

    • Nadja says...

      Internal logic and evidence are antithetical to extremists. It’s part of why it’s so discouraging to me! How do you make change??

    • Madeline says...

      Agreed with Stephanie and Nadja here. The fact that Trumpists have to create their own reality–*despite their president telling them what to do on live TV!!!!*–is an implicit admission that they KNOW they are in the wrong. The “party of personal responsibility” will look for any excuse to absolve themselves from taking responsibility–no matter how ludicrous and false those excuses are.

  68. Lindsay says...

    I’m appalled at this and so much more that has occurred this year and beyond. Is this crap REALLY happening in the US?! Very heavy heart❤️

  69. Ellen says...

    I can’t post the actual images here, but I would like to share the following images of the protest that I have seen, on television and circulating on twitter:
    1. A man in the crowd on the steps of the capitol holding a sign that reads: “No bloody circumcisers, no perverts in US courts, US senate, or US president. No foreskin No peace !!!”
    2. Another sign: “Make America’s penis great again with a foreskin.”
    3. A man in the crowd inside the capitol wearing a sweatshirt that reads: “Camp Aushwitz. Work will make you free”
    4. A man in the crowd wearing a balck T-Short with a large golden eagle image, spreadwinged, and the logo: “6MWE” (Known Poud Boys slogan, means “6 million wasn’t enough”, that is Jews killed in the holocaust …

    What to make of this, please? To my mind, watching from Canada, this is clear evidence of White Supremacy, which includes hatred of Jews (and Muslims) in addition to Blacks and other people of colour (and women, frankly.) Remember Charlottesville, those guys were chanting “Jews Will Not Replace Us.” (Wtf?) This is not antifa. This IS the crowd that Trump has coddled, nurtured, encouraged, told to “stand by”, and loved. The Republican Party leadership, who have refused openly and repeatedly to condemn these people and their message, is entirely complicit. Amercians should not let McConnell, Graham, Trump’s cabinet, his White House staff, etc. etc. off the hook. Please, wake up, people!

    • Lauren E. says...

      You just described what sickened me most about yesterday. There is no debate on the platform of those who stormed the Capitol. They are white supremacists and our President said he loved them. Every day I feel the same disbelief that a disgrace like Trump is in the White House.

    • Laura says...

      We need to talk more about the anti-semitism tied up in all these conspiracy theories/ Qanon- so many Trump supporters are straight up nazis. I saw footage of a crowd destroying a female reporter’s equipment and yelling anti-semitic things at the media. It’s truly insane.

  70. Barb says...

    There is no more to the story…

  71. A concerned citizen says...

    I am absolutely horrified at the events that took place yesterday. There is never an excuse or explanation for violence, and further, if we accept it without action, then we are agreeing with the actions, regardless of whether or not we agree with the platform of the people engaging in this disgusting behavior. As an inner city educator, I have seen the scary impact this has had on our children. It’s hard to explain to children and frame it in a way that inspired confidence for our safety.
    As I was processing this and thinking about it, it did occur to me that we may not be fully honest with ourselves about how we react to such events: why we weren’t also disturbed by the violent BLM riots- a minority of people acting in a reprehensible manner in the name of a platform that most agree with, but don’t agree with this expression of such?

    • Kate says...

      The limited violence that occurred during BLM protests are not comparable to attempting a coup in the name of white supremacy while trying to dismantle the results from a democratic election.

      “a minority of people acting in a reprehensible manner in the name of a platform that most agree with” – I certainly hope the intention here was not to apply the same logic to the insurrectionists that attacked the Capitol yesterday. Although an unfortunately large number of people do seem to agree with their platform of white supremacy.

    • Liz says...

      False equivalence. The terrorists who stormed the capitol on January 6 were there because their side lost an election. They caused complete mayhem, left bombs and molotov cocktails behind in D.C., and damages and destroyed the public halls of democracy. The equivalent group – democrats in 2016 whose preferred candidate lost – knitted hats and marched peacefully in cities around the world. BLM protests over the past years have always started after government violence against Black people, like the murders of George Floyd and Michael Brown. I live in Minneapolis and took my children to rallies and protests here this summer, they were peaceful and important though after dark group psychology and outside agitators certainly had our city on edge.

    • Olivia says...

      From one educator to another, I don’t think you should be a teacher, let alone a teacher at an “inner city” school if you are drawing false equivalence with BLM. Sorry to be so blunt, but I don’t think we do enough to acknowledge the danger in this type of thinking and the potential harm it can cause students of color. Education is always political, you either value the lives of Black and Brown students or you don’t. Just stop.

  72. Emily says...

    As a Jewish woman this blatant display of white supremacy is anything but a surprise. The writing was on the wall in 2016 and, loudly, in Charlottesville, and in a million small instances since then. I was not surprised to see a man with a ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt, not surprised to see QAnon supporters, not surprised to see the racism of the police response. White supremacy has been encouraged and has entered the mainstream over the past four years and it is endangering both our citizens and our very democracy. I am concerned to see how this will continue to escalate into the Biden presidency — I’m sure there’ll be a backlash. Please stay safe, everyone, and continue to do what you can within your communities.

  73. Chrissy says...

    As a person married to a white police officer, I feel so many overwhelming emotions. Hopelessness by the attack on democracy. Outrage knowing black and other people of color would have been arrested or shot by a much larger presence of law enforcement. Somewhat relieved that some republicans are speaking out against this and even quitting. Feeling anguish over my partner’s profession and his conservative views. Feeling defensive when my friends make remarks about corrupt law enforcement.

    • H says...

      Chrissy, I admire you for being able to name and sort through all those complicated emotions. You’re not alone. Thanks for sharing.

    • Gabrielle says...

      Hi Chrissy. I appreciate your vulnerability. I think a lot of what Black women have been telling white women is that we are complicit in white supremacy, even though we (I’m also a white woman) feel anguish about the “conservative views” of the white men in our lives. Anguish won’t save anyone’s life. Anguish won’t change the fact that Black and brown people would have been shot and killed by police en masse if they had stormed the capital yesterday. Anguish won’t keep my husband (who, spoiler alert, is a Black man) safe when he is pulled over by the police simply for existing. Anguish won’t change curriculum in public schools to include the truth of our country’s racist past and racist present.

      Perhaps most simply put, our feelings as white women are not the point. UNLESS our feelings inspire action. It is our job as white women to take action to confront the idea of whiteness in our lives. It sounds like you have some big conversations that need to be had with your husband.

    • Chrissy says...

      H, thank you for your compassion. I’ve been feeling alone.

      Gabrielle, I agree that my feelings are not the point and feeling anguished isn’t sufficient. I certainly do not diminish or minimize the scary/racist reality black people face every day. I was simply sharing my overwhelming feelings. The anguish I live with regarding my husband’s profession is a daily, almost suffocating struggle. I will also add that I’m not a white woman.

  74. Elisa says...

    Thank you for this honest depiction of what happened yesterday. I am still in shock and angry; not just at the terrorists and what they were doing/trying to do, but those that allowed this to happen. From law enforcement to politicians, to every single person that saw what happened and is not feeling angry and upset about it today. Complacency and apathy is complicit and is part of the major problem.

  75. Jackie says...

    As I white person, I want to say again and again how sorry I am that white people behave this way. That we have a system that permits this and maybe even encourages it. That white people get away with major things while BIPOC get away with nothing. I can’t stand it. And yet there are so many white people who are saying, Trump told the protestors to go home! How do we get through to these people? How do we stop this idiocy? Because it really is a deep ignorance coursing through the white American veins and must stop.

  76. Suzie says...

    We are the laughing stock of the world because of the circus clown who is currently tearing down the tent as fast as he can before he is caught and thrown out. The fact that people still support him after this is mind blowing.

  77. Brittany says...

    COJ leading the way and hitting the nail on the head and taking a stand for what is right and good, as usual! Thank you, Joanna & team! Your political posts often make me teary.

  78. katie says...

    I follow theconsciouskid on insta. Through all my scrolling last night I was glad to see them elevate a post from @wokeSTEMteacher: “Teachers: what are y’all going to do tomorrow? What discussions will you be having?…” It was encouraging to see so many comments and conversation about how the educators of our children are ready to discuss media literacy, emotions about what happened…give children space to process but also think critically. Today I almost wanted to be back with my 11th grade Humanities teacher – I know he would have engaged us appropriately and not sugar-coated things.

    • Sara says...

      I was so relieved and grateful that my daughter’s fifth grade teachers held time today for them to discuss their feelings and questions about what happened yesterday. In my eighth grader’s virtual classrooms, it was not even mentioned.

  79. Sage says...

    Our country is unfortunately going down the toilet. I find myself trying to figure out the responsible thing to do for my son. Not sure if I can tell him I witnessed our capitol building being overrun by domestic terrorists and still decided… this is a great place to raise my family. This is wrong. We are not the “greatest” by any conceivable (positive) measure. We have politicians who debate for months on whether our citizens are worthy of $600. People who want to say “It’s worse other places!!” believe US propaganda. Not naive enough to think the 2 years we have coming of blue-leaning government will make anything close to the changes to save us from ourselves. (Obviously, yes, better than the alternative.) My husband’s hearing from coworkers about how this riot was “justified.” It’s out of control.

  80. Andrea says...

    I did not check in with my Mom. I honestly do not want to know what she thinks about this. It’s heartbreaking enough to have a conversation about who I voted for and why.

    • Lauren says...

      Andrea, I’m in the same situation as you, sad to say. Sorry to hear others are also going through this division within their families. Sending a hug from afar.

    • Sarah says...

      Same, Andrea. I am afraid my family would not be as scandalized by what happened as they should be, so I am afraid to bring it up.

    • miriam says...

      I’m sorry, but you need to get past your heartbreak and face up to that conversation. Chances are, plenty of those people out there yesterday have someone in their circle like you, someone who is ashamed and appalled by their beliefs, but chooses to distance themselves, because it’s too painful to confront, and their feelings are allowed to foment, unchecked and unrestrained. You cannot afford to keep turning away.

    • Laura says...

      Miriam especially, what do you think we can or should do to get through to those family members? As I said above, my family has basically cut me out for trying to have conversations, sharing books/articles/podcasts, asking questions, working not to judge….and nothing but isolation. I’m seriously looking for guidance. I would love nothing more than to be able to have a productive conversation with them. I’ve offered to pay for group therapy, I’ve withheld grandchildren. What else? Please, please tell me!

    • miriam says...

      Lauren, and anyone else, I’d suggest looking into resources that help you understand this divide. Conspirituality podcast goes deep into the intersection of wellness and conspiracy thinking, as well as cult dynamics, and a lot of what they discuss can be helpful. I’m sure there are others too.

      I also think that the idea of fierce compassion is one that is useful. Compassion – to try to reach out to those you love(d), understand the fears that are stoking their beliefs and attitudes, and have an empathetic discussion. But fierce enough to tell them where and how they are causing harm, and drawing a line. Telling them they’re wrong, stupid, and bigoted does little more than push them further away, IMO. But showing that you take their fears seriously, and want to engage, can… possibly… help. Maybe?

      I don’t have the answers tbh, and I understand the struggle. A good friend of mine has seen her mother drift further and further away into a web of conspiracy thinking, and there is huge grief. But I don’t think that turning away and hoping someone else can do the fixing for you, is the answer. I’m a POC, and I’ve known all my life that no matter how well I try to perform to fit in, to please, to do good, I will not be listened to by a certain sector of society. But if you’re white, you have the opportunity to be heard and taken seriously. You need to use it.

      It’s tough. But I have hope that even the smallest shift in someone can snowball into something positive, if you make the effort to try.

    • Andrea says...

      Miriam you don’t know the reality of what I have or have not tried. I’ve been down this road and don’t need to continually go down it. She has a right to her opinions, even if I think they are wrong.

    • Jenna says...

      I am in the same boat here. Over the course of my adult life I have lived in Vermont, DC, Utah, and now (west) Texas, so I feel that I have experienced the gamut of the political spectrum. While I myself am fairly moderate in my political opinions, my whole family are very conservative, Trump-loving Republicans. Whenever politics comes up at home, there is an argument. It’s easy for people who aren’t in this situation to tell you that what you’re doing or saying to your family isn’t enough. I’ve seen the comments on this thread and other COJ threads encouraging us to shun or disown or shout-down those in our families with different political beliefs than us. But I know from my own experience that sowing seeds of anger, discord, division and hatred in families is not the answer and will only bring about further anger, discord, division and hatred in our communities and the world at large. Honestly, I can’t say what the best way forward is, but I can say that Dr. King’s words resonate with me on this subject: “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

    • Laura says...

      Miriam: I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on how to help. The compassion road is definitely the path I’m taking–I didn’t start from a good place (I found out the night before the 2016 that my parents were voting for Trump–I was legitimately shocked; I knew they were fiscally conservative but I had no idea….none. My husband and I both work in jobs that seek to advance democratic causes–my husband for years worked directly for Elizabeth Warren, so I was really no prepared and I just burst into uncontrollable sobs. I bet it was VERY off-putting). The compassion road is a long one, and I will keep going. I will not stop, even when I’m not sure I’m doing it right. I do see it as my responsibility to dismantle white supremacy–and you know what no one ever mentions? It feels pretty damn good most of the time to take my internal bias apart, to ask big questions, to seek new voices. One of my 2021 goals is to tout the amazing, enriching, enjoyable parts that are a byproduct of dismantling white supremacy and speaking out and doing lots of self-reflection. It feels good, because it is good. I just wish I had some clearer, less painful way of making progress with those I considered closest to me. Again, I appreciate the time you took in writing back. And the way you phrased your advice. Your kindness shines through.

    • miriam says...

      Thank you Laura, that’s very much appreciated :) I’m also sorry I got your name wrong at first!

      I don’t think families/ties should be shunned or disowned if you can help it (unless you are at risk of harm in any form). And I don’t think you’ll always “succeed” in winning them over, unfortunately.

      I do know how it feels, albeit in a different context. I came very close to cutting off from my father because of his own toxic and traumatic behaviours, and yet, I was still desperate to find some way of having a better relationship, of getting through to him. He passed away unexpectedly last year, and the pain of having this unresolved conversation in my heart is just… I hate it. I will never get to put it to rest. But I’ve tried to understand what made him the way he was, and take my lessons for the future, and hope that I might have made the tiniest bit of progress. I’m really glad at least, that I kept trying, however painful, and did not cut ties.

      I can’t know your life, Andrea, or the pain you may experience, but I’m someone who believes you’ve got to keep trying, in whatever way you can. None of us can afford to step aside and hope someone else does it better.

  81. Meghan says...

    What’s the word for shocking to see but entirely predictable? That’s how I feel. Sickened to the core by the rot.

  82. Lesley says...

    Thank you so much for calling out the racial privilege on display yesterday. It is so central to yesterday’s events and to the events of this presidency and to U.S. history.

  83. KB says...

    I am a white high school teacher of mostly Black and brown students. Today was a hard day. As one of my students pointed out, the magnitude of difference in policing that they face when they go to CVS versus when a mob of white adults break into Congress is so immense you almost just have to laugh. I’m grateful to have spent the day in community with them, journaling and reacting to photos, asking questions and discussing, but I am deeply saddened at the country we are passing to them.

    • BC says...

      KB, thank you for being present with your students. Hope you all are taking gentle care of each other and of yourselves.

    • Liz says...

      I’m pivoting from the practice of law to high school social studies teacher to be (hopefully) just the kind of teacher you are!

    • Meghan says...

      KB, I am also a white high school gov teacher to a population of many BIPOC students, in Fairfax County VA. I echo everything you said – I also spent time with each of my classes today reacting to photos, allowing space for discussion, etc. What we do is truly not just a job, but a privilege, a responsibility, a civic duty, and an honor – but it is also deeply challenging, especially in this school year.

  84. Kelli says...

    Simultaneously shocked and appalled while also not being surprised at all. We emboldened Trump and his supporters for too long. When do we tell our family and friends who turn a blind eye to this that “enough is enough” (so eloquently stated last night by Lindsey Graham, of all people)?

    • Emma says...

      Thank you for mentioning Lindsey Graham’s address– I didn’t know about it! I just watched it and I am insanely shocked to say that it really moved me. That he, of all people (as you said), could so eloquently stand up for the country and the constitution.

    • Kiana says...

      Lindsey Graham is a self serving weather vane. He’ll move wherever it is expedient. Don’t be fooled by his speech yesterday. He was smart enough to know two months ago, it was over but he insisted on going on Fox and spouting bs about how they still had a shot. If people were deceived, he was responsible. Let’s see how long his “conscience” lasts.

    • Emma says...

      Ugh. Lindsay Graham has been propping Donald Trump up for four years. He does not get to come out this a hero. No No No. This is just like people extolling Pence….please don’t do this.

    • Molly says...

      Yes Kiana! We were watching the news as a family last night & my 10 year old son said “I like him!” about Lindsey Graham. NO! The cameras were on him & he was ACTING! He is a lying snake. His speech made me so mad. Where have you been for the last 4 years? Lindsey Graham is a puppet.

    • megan says...

      THANK YOU, KIANA.

      y’all – really?! that was showboating. what has he done, actionably, to make us believe he really does think enough is enough? please wake up. same with mcconnell, and please don’t even mention romney, who “saluted” the gop senators who decided, AFTER ALL(!), not to object. white people are so easily swayed by other white people being “good” and redeeming themselves that we take no other action as soon as it happens. please stop.

    • K says...

      I saw this quote today about Lindsey Graham. Really gets to the core of why he’s such a transparently self-serving flip-flop:

      “People try to analyze Lindsey through the prism of the manifest inconsistencies that exist between things that he used to believe and what he’s doing now,” Schmidt says. “The way to understand him is to look at what’s consistent. And essentially what he is in American politics is what, in the aquatic world, would be a pilot fish: a smaller fish that hovers about a larger predator, like a shark, living off of its detritus. That’s Lindsey. And when he swam around the McCain shark, broadly viewed as a virtuous and good shark, Lindsey took on the patina of virtue. But wherever the apex shark is, you find the Lindsey fish hovering about, and Trump’s the newest shark in the sea. Lindsey has a real draw to power — but he’s found it unattainable on his own merits.”

      A most deserving and satisfying burn.

      source: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/lindsey-graham-senate-trump-928948/

    • Marisa says...

      I noticed some things I’d like to share.
      Lindsay Graham is famously, as another commenter put it, a political weathervane. In 2016 he was the most outspoken anti-Trump republican and it got him plenty of airtime on TV. Once Trump won he did a complete 180. Look back to his behavior at the Kavanaugh hearings where he was literally screaming about how Christine Blasey Ford was a fraud. Or to impeachment when he said he was not even trying to be impartial and his only goal was to kill the effort as quickly as possible.

      In return for his obsequiousness, he was rewarded first with chair of the prestigious Senate Judiciary Committee where he used his power to run sham investigations into the FBI, Robert Mueller, and Joe Biden’s family. After that he rose to be the chair of the incredibly powerful Senate Banking Committee.
      Now that Biden is going to be president, Graham has struck a new tone. He made his eloquent speech about the sanctity of democracy and civility. This is the same Lindsey Graham who a month ago called the Secretary of State of Georgia to convince him to change the results of the election (for once he beat Trump to the punch!). This is the same Lindsey Graham who said black people could feel comfortable going anywhere in South Carolina…. so long as they were a conservative.
      Lindsey Graham was more than happy to solicit money on Fox news and campaign for the votes of the people he denounced today in order to keep his Senate seat. Now he’s hoping that people will forget his actions over the past four years so he can keep booking spots on cable news.

      Don’t let him get away with it.

  85. J says...

    Not sure if you have permissions through your platforms, but could you add a photo to this post of the Senate staffers who carried the electoral votes to safety?

    • celeste says...

      I just saw this too through Glennen Doyle’s page. :)

    • Kim says...

      I am so deeply grateful to those staffers who had the courage and presence of mind to carry our votes to safety. They deserve the Medal of Freedom and the recognition of history. I’ve cried a lot in the last 24 hours; when I think of those brave folks, they are tears of gratitude.

    • Mel says...

      That picture made me cry for some reason! (everything does right now…both tears of fear and relief and still…hope?) Those 2 young women who grabbed the boxes and carried them out did so much for all of us.

    • June says...

      I loved that photo & thought had they been men, they would have been clearly named & celebrated.

    • E says...

      The staffers who secured the votes are to be commended, but I think the photo above is of the votes being carried into the chamber, prior to the siege: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/two-women-save-electoral-votes/
      @cupofjo, would you consider updating the caption (or maybe removing the photo)?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes! Thank you for the Snopes link!

  86. Ashley says...

    “Anarchists, Agitators, or Protestors who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our Cities or States, will be prosecuted under our recently re-enacted Statues and Monuments Act. MINIMUM TEN YEARS IN PRISON. Don’t do it.”
    Trump’s own words via Twitter.

    Different rules for different people is the shame of America. In the morning before yesterday’s chaos my children and I were discussing the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” My elementary aged kids recognized the fallacy before I could finish reading the words. 245 years is too long to misuse the word equal.

  87. Aly says...

    Thank you for this perfect post. Reading the news left me feeling heartbroken. I knew that this was exactly where I needed to turn.

  88. Tiana says...

    I’m completely heartbroken and still processing. Regardless of what side people are on, basing an entire political belief on hate is wrong. It means there are no actual goals to move the country forward in any way. This is America! We are a generous and good country — we created the American dream. I look forward to healing the next 4 years. The US is better than this.

    • theguvnah says...

      We are a country founded on rape, slavery, bloodshed. We aren’t actually better than this, but we can be if we actually face our past and our present.

  89. Marie says...

    Finally, Republicans and Democrats agree on something; what happened yesterday was pure craziness and wrong. A sad day for both parties.

    • Polly says...

      What? Republican actions made this happen. You don’t get to be sad when you’re the one who lit the match.

    • Anne says...

      Gotta agree with Polly. Just because all 74+ million Americans who voted for Trump were not invading The Capital yesterday does not excuse their involvement from what happened yesterday. You can’t cherry pick here.

    • Grace says...

      Marie… it was Republicans who did this. What absolute nonsense!

      If you’re embarrassed that your party is trying to enact a fascist coup against the U.S. government, there’s another political party you can join. Until then — this is what you wanted. This is what your vote got you.

    • Marie says...

      @Polly, Enough of the generalizations, unless you also want to be defined by the worst of the worst that may identify as democrats or whatever other group (religion, family, workplace, city, etc) that you may belong to. Comments like yours shut down conversation, and add to the hate and division in our country. I do get to be sad.

    • Marie says...

      @Anne,
      Yes, when it comes to politics you absolutely do have to cherry-pick. Who agrees 100% with any party? If you find yourself in total agreement with your party 100% of the time, then I don’t suspect you do much thinking for yourself. Also, what happened yesterday was not the Republican party, it was terrorists. Try listening to Rand Paul’s speech, or one of the many, many others good Republicans in office. Your bias is blinding you. When I recently saw protesters on the news yelling at police officers that they hoped their children would be raped and murdered, I could recognize that those people did not represent the whole democrat party or the people that voted democrat. Stop generalizing people, stop labeling people, and try to be more open-minded.

    • Marisa says...

      Marie, there were elected Republicans in the crowd that stormed the Capitol.

    • Polly says...

      @Marie:

      First: I’m happy to take on the worst characteristics of my organizations and friends & family because I would not belong to those organizations or associate with those individuals if they held repellent views. (I know you think you posed this a tough challenge, but it’s really not. Put the “worst of the worst” on me.)

      Second: You think my comment shut down conversation? I mean, it looks like you still had the ability to respond to my comment here, so I don’t think I’m as powerful as you imagine I am. Talk away, but don’t be surprised when the day comes that you realize you’re only talking to yourself; demographic change is not on your side in America.

      Third: No, you don’t get to be sad if you support the party that nominated Trump, elected Trump, faithfully stood by him through many reprehensible actions, and co-signed on his deeply dangerous lies about the legitimacy of the election.

      Note: We knew who Trump was before the election because he told us who he was, but people like you ignored history and our many attempts to warn you.

    • Alycia says...

      Marie, you, and Rand Paul, are on the wrong side here.

    • Polly says...

      @Marie: Trump flags all over the country read “F*ck Your Feelings”, but you want to tell Democrats to be more open-minded? (If you don’t believe me about the flags, please Google it.)

      I do have a question for you, though: why do people like you always write “Democrat Party” instead of the grammatically correct “Democratic Party”? Many, many Republicans do this online. It’s very interesting. Are you worried that readers will be confused and think you mean that Democrats are democratic? (The horror! But wait – which party attempted a coup yesterday?)

    • anon says...

      @Marie 121 Republican House members supported the objection to the Electoral College count. That’s not an insubstantial number. 121 Republican House members and six senators still backed the lies that led to the violence yesterday AFTER it happened. There need to be a long, hard look in the mirror and some acceptance of responsibility and not any “both sides” nonsense.

    • Marie says...

      The Republican Party and ideals were around before Trump. There is more to the Republican party than Trump. There are many, many good Republicans.

      @Polly, I think you are reading far too much into my using the word Democrat. Also congratulations on only surrounding yourself with perfect people. If I had known that Democrats were perfect, and also had all the right answers to all our world problems I guess I would have voted differently.

    • Polly says...

      Hi Marie, can you point to where I said that Democrats are perfect and can solve every problem? I’m not someone who worships the individuals I vote for; if Biden or any other leader I’ve supported does not support the policies I prefer or does something I find objectionable, I will absolutely call them out and push them to be better. I would never say that Democrats are perfect, which is why you can’t actually point to anything I’ve said that would even hint at that.

      What I *said* was that I don’t surround myself with individuals with repugnant views, nor do I belong to organizations that espouse them. Can you say the same for yourself?

      I would love to see your list of “good Republicans”. Anyone who supported Trump either 1) supports them because they share his (racist, transphobic, ant-immigrant, misogynist) views or 2) they don’t share his views, but that’s the cost they’re willing to pay to get what they want.

      Sorry, I should be saying *you* and not *they*, right? My apologies.

      You clearly imagine yourself as a big-hearted good Republican who just wants peace and love and hugs. Why can’t we all get along?

      The cost you’re willing to pay to get what you want (tax breaks? fewer Muslims in your country? I’m not sure – fill in the blank) is just white supremacy and domestic terrorism.

    • Marie says...

      @Polly,

      I truly don’t know where you are getting these ideas about me. My original post was stating that I don’t agree with what happened, and it deeply saddened me. I also never said I was a Trump supporter. What he did upset and angered me. I admittedly don’t think his policies were all bad either. Nobody is all good, or all evil. I do lean Republican, but have also voted for Democrats this year. I also would never say Republicans are perfect, and I would call them out….which is exactly what I was doing.

      I stand by my statement that there are a lot of really good republicans. The fact that you disagree with them on certain issues doesn’t make them bad. Life is complex and there are many sides of an issue. One of my main frustrations with the Democratic party right now is that they want to grow government bigger and bigger. I think government should be smaller. It’s fine if you disagree with me on this issue, but I very solid reasons why I believe this. I found voting especially difficult this year because I don’t align with any one party perfectly.

      Lastly, it ironic that you mention Muslim immigrants, I have opened my home many times to Muslim immigrants, and hosted a student from Egypt. I am done dialoguing here, it’s not a productive use of my time. I had hoped that my original comment would bring some unity between parties, but it clearly hasn’t done that. Sincerely, I wish you well.

  90. Andrea says...

    The jousting for who will be mob boss was what struck me about yesterday.

    1. Trump calls the rally and gins up the crowd for months. The implicit and explicit threat that he commands all these people who can act as a voting block and riot, as needed, should be clearly recognized.
    2. It is recognized by Cruz, Hawley, etc. who now want to jockey to be the next leader of the mob. It’s clear that their attempt to contest the reading of the votes is aimed at being the 2024 nominee. Race to the bottom pretty quickly, Ted.
    3. When it all goes to hell and isn’t politic, kiss-a**es like Cathy McMorris Rodgers state that now they won’t oppose the vote. Way to get religion, Cathy! I so hate that woman. She makes E Washington suck so much.

    So, Trump has created a mob over the past 5 years and people want to use that mob to their own ends. He’s trying to create a new “political party”/threat structure like you see in France with LePen. Yesterday was just a small show of force to illustrate the power he has. We need to deal with it.

  91. Courtney Dal Porto says...

    Currently texting my dad with: “we disagree on a lot but i want to make sure we don’t disagree about what happened yesterday. ”
    also asked him to please not get his news from facebook.
    it just feels like there is poison seeping into every crack. scary. but i am taking that fear and anger and not losing but funneling into action, wherever i can. we all need to.

  92. Heather says...

    Thank you for posting this as its really the only thing on my mind today and deserves a space for discussion. I’ve feeling hopeful (maybe naively so) that the 25th amendment and/or impeachment will happen – its not enough to wait for inauguration.

  93. Sherri says...

    So disgusted by Trump and MAGA. This past four years has been painful watching Trump embolden his followers. He needs to be removed NOW! Hawley also should lose his job. Cruz too!

  94. Alex says...

    Thank you so much for starting this discussion on here <3 I was hoping I'd wake up today feeling better, but instead I just feel worse. I think what put me over the edge was seeing that even after that disgraceful show of delusion, violence, and white supremacy yesterday, 1/3 of the House still voted to object the Pennsylvania electoral votes!!! The fact so many politicians are still supporting him after he incited that mess yesterday makes me sick to my stomach. The worst part is that I feel so helpless. I want him impeached. I want Republican lawmakers to feel their guilt in creating this disaster. And I want those terrorists arrested and held accountable. Does anyone have any suggestions of actionable items?

    • Courtney says...

      Joanna and team! Please share these if you get responses. I too want to know!!

    • Marti says...

      ditto this for an actionable items round-up! Thank you CoJ Team for all you do, and for doing so with so much grace and eloquence <3

    • Leslie says...

      For people in red states, call your congress persons’ office with the following demands:
      -publicly denounce yesterday’s act
      -call for the removal or impeachment of Trump
      -affirm the election results
      -call for the prosecutions of people involved in the attack
      -urge for a reevaluation of the obvious racial disparity in policing: we are looking to police people of color less, not all people more

      For people in blue states, you can also call your elected officials, especially at the local level, and ask them to push for more police accountability, defunding police budgets. Many democrats have contributed to the current racial state violence through supporting “law and order” rhetoric.
      At the national level, you can demand they start articles of impeachment (again) or remove Trump from office.

    • Molly says...

      WRITE to your reps! Research who they are, from your US Senators down to your state and local reps and WRITE. Most have email forms on their websites and if not, CALL. Make this a habit, regularly letting them know what’s important to you. A democracy only works when we participate. And starting Jan 21, they will actually have the POWER to get things done! Urge them to work to overturn Citizens United, provide universal health care, support restaurants and small businesses that are failing due to Trump’s disastrous handling of Coronavirus, re-allocate police budgets into community support options, fix the cost of college/student loan debt, and anything else that’s important to you. LET. THEM. KNOW! They work for us!

    • Molly says...

      As someone said further up in the comments, fight for DC statehood! (write your reps to fight for it)

    • MG says...

      I live in the bluest of blue places and am represented in Congress by Barbara Lee. I called her office and the offices of my CA senators today to say that I believe Trump should be removed from office immediately and all members of Congress and rioters who committed the crime of sedition yesterday should be held accountable for their actions. If not, we will descend further into fascism. Democrats need to know that their constituents want action, not just statements. I also urged my friends and relatives living in red states to call their representatives as well. We should all be flooding the phones on this.

    • NinDC says...

      As someone who regularly worked in the Capitol and other congressional buildings and who knows people who were there, I greatly appreciate your earnest question.
      1) Go through the photos of the terrorists and help law enforcement identify them. There is an IG account currently doing this- homegrownterroists. Look at Facebook to cross-check. These people need to be held accountable for their violence, theft, and desacration of sacred ground. May I remind you that a Capitol Police officer died?
      2) confront your loved ones who dismiss this is a coup or who don’t understand who this was a manifestation of white supremacy. By the way, as of last night, some these people were still outside the Capitol.
      3) Finally, do everything in your power to vote out those GOP lawmakers who denied the election. They have blood on their hands.

  95. Theresa says...

    My mom had interesting perspective that perhaps the cops on-site weren’t being forceful because of the fact it was happening in such a historic, sacred place for American politics. The scene could have been made much worse by violence/deaths en masse. (And who knows that other chaos that would have inspired…) I’m not saying how it was handled was correct, but maybe there’s more to the story…

    • Lael says...

      No. There have been too many acts of police violence on those same steps in recent months to name. Its absolutely because of police backing trump, and protestors being white.

    • Tara says...

      My belief is that 1) The Capitol Cops were sympathetic to the MAGA hordes, and 2) They knew that these domestic terrorists were far more likely to be armed than the peaceful protestors they assaulted with impunity over the summer. They were in fear of their lives and so they did not retaliate with the deadly force we know they are more than capable of invoking.

    • Madeline says...

      The fact that this was a violent assault on such a historic, sacred place is *exactly* the reason why law enforcement should have stopped it. From Kim Dine, former chief of the Capitol Police: “we train and plan and budget every day, basically, to have this not happen.”

      That they allowed and, in some cases, actively enabled this insurrection is proof of a deeply flawed system. There is also a difference between not being forceful and standing by/taking selfies together/”we just got to let them do their thing for now.”

    • Ramya Vivekanandan says...

      Sorry, but your mom is mistaken. If the rioters yesterday had been black, I guarantee that the cops wouldn’t have hesitated a second to shower them with bullets in that “historic, sacred place.”

    • Denise says...

      No. It’s absolutely because the terrorists were white. If those people breaking into the seat of American government were any shade of brown they would have been shot or taken down upon entry. Not calling it what it is perpetuates racism.

    • Molly says...

      Uh, doubtful. I don’t have a shred of desire to be a cop, but if I was a cop tasked with protecting the Capitol, yesterday would have been GAME ON with those @ssholes. I imagine they train for years and years and years for what to do in various situations, and if anything, I’d think they’d be a bit trigger happy when it comes to an actual threat instead of just a training drill. So disappointed with the police response yesterday. Our country deserves better.

    • AJ says...

      That can’t be true, or how can anyone explain the massive difference in how police treat Black and white people in other settings? Across the board, the statistics are clear. The white privilege around what happened yesterday was instantly apparent from a mile off and there is nothing that can sugar coat that. That doesn’t mean seeing a more violent police response yesterday would have been ‘right’. It really means they need to stop with their violence towards Black people. Just stop. And the rest of us need to keep our eyes open to the truth, no longer turn away or make excuses for it, and try as best we can to educate ourselves and adapt our own problematic behaviours.

    • Anne says...

      Hi Theresa, I think an easy point of comparison is the BLM protests over the summer. The cops were out in heavy numbers and acted aggressively to “manage” those protests. Remember how peaceful protesters were gassed to clear a space for Trump’s photo op?

      I understand wanting a narrative that makes it feel less terrible, but unfortunately I don’t think this particular narrative holds up.

    • Annie says...

      There is video of police taking selfies with the terrorists.

    • Chiara says...

      Former DC resident here – I’m sure your mom is speaking out of optimism, but it’s really hard to read this. I have friends who have been assaulted by capitol police at peaceful protests and have permanent health issues because of those injuries. Capitol police will mess you up for trying to bring a water bottle into the building as a visitor! These plans were made public ahead of time, and capitol police officials responded to news inquires saying they were aware and prepared. This has nothing to do with respect for a historical place, and everything to do with sedition and white supremacy. These people are on the same team.

    • Kat Rosa says...

      Um they literally gassed peaceful protestors and shot them with rubber bullets in front of a church — historic & sacred — so Trump could have a photo op.

      I know you and your mother would like to feel better about what happened, but there’s no denying that police tend to treat far-right protestors by a different playbook.

    • Laura says...

      Not a good theory. I was tear gassed and forcefully arrested for crossing a police barrier several feet from the STEPS of the Capitol building. You do not let people into that building who aren’t supposed to be there/ haven’t been searched and cleared by security- precisely BECAUSE they are worried about a sacred and historical place being violated.

  96. E says...

    Thank you. Your posts over the last 4 years about politics, white supremacy, and Trump’s history as a serial sexual predator have been so clear and matter of fact. I can’t really say it any more eloquently, but Cup of Jo is like the opposite of gaslighting. (I prefer C of J’s approach, frankly, to outlets like the NYT, which published a cheerful profile of one of the insurgents who broke into Pelosi’s office– unbelievable!)

  97. Kelly says...

    Yesterday was horrifying. Then this morning was worse when I found out my dad still supports Trump after everything that happened yesterday. I thought that at least this would have crossed the line for him, but no. What is my role? Do I try to explain that baby boomers have been brainwashed over the past four years by right wing conspiracies? Do I burn bridges with current Trump supporters even if they are my parents? Feeling devastated.

    • Laura says...

      I don’t think it has anything to do with baby boomers having been brainwashed. I was born in the heart of the baby boom, and I’m thoroughly disgusted and disheartened by what happened yesterday, and by anyone who ever supported Trump.

    • Emily says...

      I have to agree with Laura. It’s less about generational divides and more about divides along race, class, income, political beliefs, and religion. The maps of declining life expectancy for white men (due to suicide, drug abuse, etc.), declining labor and factory jobs, and Trump voters coincide almost exactly. It is more reflective of a slice of American society for whom things are not going as expected and who are scared and taking that out on immigrants, minorities, ‘liberal elites,’ etc. There are a lot of intersecting factors here so it can be complex to discuss in a short blurb.

    • R says...

      Kelly, wondering the same. I know lots of bored baby boomers sitting at home being brainwashed. I also know plenty who are as disgusted and as disheartened as Laura. But, it’s really difficult when family members support this monster.

    • Allie says...

      Kelly, I come back to this over and over. My parents, who are very educated, extremely kind and generous, otherwise super rational people are heavy Fox News watchers and say things to me that I can’t even plant in reality. I tried to breach it yesterday – “we can agree this was terrible, right?” and I just…didn’t get the answer I was hoping for. I wish there were like, seminars to de-brainwash your parents – I know for a fact if they would just dial way back on the Fox and right-wing radio, they’d be “reachable.”

    • Cory says...

      I’m so sorry, Kelly. My parents voted for Trump, too. I feel like a hypocrite for giving them a pass but I’m not willing to sacrifice our relationship because of that… person. I find it so confusing. We talked a bit yesterday about the double standard of policing, but they don’t want to blame Trump for anything. I’m pretty convinced it’s fox news brainwashing. Most of the time I just avoid discussing it with them at all, which is an immensely privileged thing to be able to do. Others may be happier cutting off their parents, but I don’t want to do that, and that’s my decision. I donate to progressives to make myself feel better about it lol

    • Suz says...

      Kelly, I can imagine that would be very hard to see things so differently from your parents. I do think that burning bridges with those that have opposing views is not the right solution. I think we need to talk more, to listen more, to understand more. I do not agree with what happened yesterday. My heart is so broken to see our country so divided. I worry that outcasting groups will only make things worse. I don’t know the solution to all of this. I can only hope that maybe our country hitting such lows will be a wake up call to finding a solution and unity in the coming years.

    • Annie says...

      This article delves into why boomers are at particular risk to misinformation and conspiracy theories: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/internet-baby-boomers-misinformation-social-media_n_5f998039c5b6a4a2dc813d3d?ri18n=true

      And this podcast talks about it as well: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/losing-relatives-to-fox-news/id1380008439?i=1000501585371

      As for cutting ties with Trump supporters, I feel your pain. I’m no longer in contact with most of my family because of their racist, MAGA views.

    • Erin says...

      Please encourage your parents to seek news from a variety of sources, including international outlets such as the BBC. And ask them to think about how they would feel if yesterday’s scenes from the capitol were being played out in the halls of government of another large democracy.

      Regardless of whether they agree with Trump’s overall agenda, they need to recognize that yesterday he and his supporters engaged in treasonous, violent attempts to disrupt a keystone of our democratic process, a part of the peaceful transfer of power between elected governments. We should all care more about maintaining the integrity of that process than about our preference for any specific politician or group.

    • Kelly says...

      Thank you all for your comments. They have been really helpful. I will send the news links to my Dad with the hope that he can somehow see out of his bubble. Such a wonderful community. I appreciate you all.

    • Liz says...

      Sort of tangential, but have you seen the social dilemma on Netflix, and do you think your parents would watch it, with or without you? I thought is was a stunning film and could imagine it at least providing an opening for conversation.

    • jules says...

      Boomers are not “being” brainwashed. They are choosing to watch Fox News (and now, OAN), listen to talk radio, download the podcasts, forward the Facebook memes. They are romanticizing the childhoods where men were men, blah blah blah. My older family members (ages 60-73) are working class and live in rural areas. NONE support Trump or the GOP. None are on social media, either. My partner’s mom lives in his hometown. 100% white in 1985, now about 40% latinx and Somali. He challenges the strange racist things that come out of her mouth occasionally, even though she’s 80. Their relationship survives. Stand up.

    • theguvnah says...

      Please ignore the defensive Boomers responding here. The truth is, Boomers and older are MUCH more susceptible to online disinformation, they don’t have the same level of media literacy that digital natives have. This is backed up by research.

      There are certainly plenty of young white supremacists Trumpers of course, which is terrifying, but media literacy and an inability to discern real and fake news is prime among Boomers.

  98. Patricia A Perez says...

    When 3 Puerto Ricans barged into the Capitol to fight for independence for their oppressed country, they were sentenced to a lifetime in prison. I’m exhausted. This hits my ancestral wounds deeply.

    • Rachel says...

      Yep, was thinking about this as well.

    • E says...

      M.E.– Gosh, it sounds like you haven’t seen the news that 4 people died during yesterday’s extremely violent at of domestic terrorism! Here’s a good article about the people who *died* as a result of this event: http://www.cnn.com%2F2021%2F01%2F06%2Fpolitics%2Fus-capitol-lockdown%2Findex.html&usg=AOvVaw25GwfwOphjtRv4ezQatE7H

      Many people were injured yesterday, too. Moreover, the mostly-maskless mob no doubt spread covid around DC, and I’m sure people will get sick and die as a result of their recklessness. Just thought I’d add a little more context for what Patricia is saying…. the people responsible for this destruction and violence aren’t going to spend their lives in prison.

    • M.E. says...

      E: Gosh, it seems you didn’t read the latter half of my reply to Patricia stating that yesterday’s perpetrators should also be prosecuted for domestic terrorism. I think we are on the same side here…so not clear what ruffled your feathers so much about my comment. I certainly expect to see yesterday’s mob of white supremacists prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      The Puerto Ricans who terrorized congress in 1954 were all released or had their sentences commuted by 1979, so their lifetime sentences did not last anywhere close to a lifetime.

    • Patricia A Perez says...

      I’d like to clarify. My points here were as follows:
      – Puerto Ricans were fighting for their human rights as oppressed people by the United States Government. They (we) have always been treated as second-class citizens. Whereas the terrorists in this week’s attack were never oppressed, their rights were never violated, and their arguments were unfounded.
      – History has shown us that BIPOC individuals are severely punished disproportionately to their white counterparts.

  99. Emma says...

    Thank you for being one of the few blogs I have checked today that actually spoke on this! I greatly appreciate you using your platform in the best way possible

    • Patricia A Perez says...

      Can you share the other blogs, please? I’d like to follow more anti-racist and politically aware content creators. Thank you!

    • Agnès says...

      Hi Patricia, you could check designmom, her stand on politics is very clear and clever.

    • Emma says...

      https://thegoldengirlblog.com/

      Jess Keys is another one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers that had a really great post today!

    • SP says...

      Hi Patricia! I’m not Emma but I highly recomment LaTonya Yvette– her content is incredible. https://latonyayvette.com/
      xx Stu

  100. As a black woman, I can’t fathom invading the Capitol or any other historically white space and living to talk about it the next day.

    I love COJ for at least 31,569 reasons. The honest, concise statement below just positioned itself as reason #1-

    “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.’”

  101. Amy says...

    We all saw the pictures: The arrogance displayed while invading, damaging, and looting the Capitol is PROOF that white people don’t experience (and therefore don’t have to fear) the same mistreatment or abuse of power by law enforcement. Absolutely deplorable and disheartening.

    There better be WAY more charges, including charges for Trump, for inciting this dangerous & TREASONOUS event.

  102. Gabrielle says...

    Thank you for this post. I came here hoping to see some encouraging words, and to find a space that shares in my outrage and pain.

    As a white woman, I wonder how I can take all this anger and use it productively. Beyond calling my representatives and calling them to invoke the 25th amendment, beyond urging authorities to hold those accountable who vandalized and looted the capitol. And when, most likely, nothing comes out of it, and my anger rises again, what do I do?

    It is more clear than ever that white supremacy and lack of education is a national emergency. We have such a long way to go.

    • Priya says...

      Thank you for posting this. It’s difficult for me to find words to express my feelings and understanding of what happened yesterday. It just hurts. I was at a BLM protest in the summer in Oakland. The community was out and there were families with children. We were all marching peacefully, it was a beautiful scene. And then ten minutes before curfew the police threw tear gas at us. They started inciting violence and made arrests. It was chaos. To see how these white supremacists were treated in contrast is maddening. Despite the rage burning inside, I am hopeful for change. Stacey Abrams and others have shown us change is possible.

    • pmia says...

      me too

  103. jen says...

    It was shocking to watch but I was not shocked it happened. Trump is a monster and always has been. I’ve repeated this over and over since he became President. Everything he touches turns to shit. And so has America.

  104. Kate says...

    Thank you COJ team for so openly discussing this attempted coup. I am horrified and outraged and am really relying on this community here at COJ. You and your team seem to always know what to say, and as I am seeing many other blogs continue with their normal content, I am feeling very grateful for this space. Today is not business as usual.

    • Amen, amen, amen. Yesterday I was able to ‘steel’ myself and tell friends to keep up the faith and be unshaken by this act of terror. But when I saw this post on CoJ, I broke down. Thank you for having the courage and compassion to create this space.

  105. J. says...

    I have been through a lot over the past year: the suicide of my only sibling, a heinous crime by a family member, my own bout of Covid-19 that has left me with an inhaler and more questions than answers. What happened yesterday left me shook to the very core in a way that none of the of other events have. Why? I think because while terrible, they happened isolation with defined parameters for me to work through and against. What happens next to ensure that people will be appropriately held responsible and the Republic secured is uncertain. The fans that fed the flame of hate are far from silenced. and based on the permissions and concessions given to Trump over the nearly four last years I am not confident that justice will truly be served.

    The Pledge of Allegiance has been running through my head all day…

    “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America and for the Republic for which it stands…”

    If we do not take a stand against the actions of yesterday with a full accounting of Trump’s actions to rally it, we have failed the Republic.

    I saw a confederate flag. I saw a “Camp of Auschwitz” sweatshirt in the Rotunda.

    Why are pipe bombs and fire arms are being treated like inconveniences when they are part of THIS mob, and tear gas and rubber bullets used to clear peaceful law abiding protests?

    Terrorists around the world are taking note: don’t come over with your brown skin, just recruit some proud boys to do your dirty work for you.

  106. Mary says...

    For those folks that are surprised, disappointed, in disbelief…you have not being paying enough attention. You have been a voyeur and since the activities never actually impacted your life you’ve continued on living. Now, if white supremacy is continued to go unchecked in America, we’ve all lost. The worst part is that some of you will have “watched” until the violence is at your doorstep, by then it’s too late. See Jan. 6 for reference.

    • Mary! This comment is it’s own blog post. It’s a banner-a picket sign. It’s a rallying cry for accountability. Thank you ♥️

  107. Jill D says...

    “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and … ”
    18 U.S. Code Sec. 2381.

    These people levied war against the United States, to say otherwise is ignorance. They are traitors and need to be prosecuted.

  108. K says...

    I live in London and was truly shocked as the news emerged last night. The fact that this happened is terrifying and I honestly couldn’t get over Trump’s video praising the rioters. I have followed this blog for years and wondered if you would post about this today. I echo the points raised about white privilege. I hope things change now. Surely they have to.

  109. Ellen Anderman says...

    Thank you for opening a discussion. Like the others I’m disturbed, upset and enraged in a whirlwind of grief and anger over yesterday’s coup attempts (one by violent white terrorists and the other, a bloodless and consequent-free coup by 7 GOP Senators and 126-132+ GOP Congress people.) There may be a few more arrests of the first, but I’m betting nothing happens to the second, and the true case against T- rump to get him out of power by the 25th Amendment and censure and impeach him soon after will never happen. The WHOLE GOP including the briefly contrite McConnell and a few others – Romney excepted – will be too afraid of the fall-out for that. Again. Remember the names. Call them out until you can VOTE the b@st@rds OUT.

  110. HDO says...

    I’m a mental health provider and all I wanted to do yesterday was crawl into a ball and make this all stop. Thank you for providing space to process, together. The weekly lows are low (Sunday’s breaking news of Trump trying to ‘drum up’ votes in GA as if they are magically conjured up entities, yesterday’s pillory) and the highs are high (GA’s senate runoff’s). I’m trying as patiently as possible to anticipate the moment when we can collectively breathe steadily for more than a minute… without needing to either hold our breaths or necessitating shallow breaths. May we all know that we are not alone in this, including as evidenced by this wonderful community.

  111. M says...

    I’m angry at the delayed response and action by big tech: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. This madman president has used their platforms to spread lies and insight violence and will continue to do so. Their involvement and threat to democracy globally is real. Sadly there have always been ignorant and racists voices in this country but the ability to galvanize and disseminate hatred is different and deeply deeply concerning.

  112. Emma says...

    Shame on all the Republicans who enabled this deranged president to foment hatred and conspiracy theories for four years. Shame on Mick Mulvaney who, before resigning this morning, had the nerve to say he “didn’t sign up for what you saw last night,” and yet he spent the last eight months laying the groundwork for last night to happen. Shame on Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham and Ted Cruz. The list goes on- we know who they are; we see what they’ve done.

    It is so very appropriate and nauseating that this is the culmination of Trump’s dangerous presidency. A mob of white supremacist thugs with no real cause except the hate they carry in their ugly hearts, showing the whole world the cracks in our “great democracy.”

    The truth is this country was founded on brokenness and built on an unequal foundation. How do we heal?

    • Nadja says...

      Exactly. As brittany packnett cunningham wrote, “you do not get to wipe the dirt off your hands when the seed you planted has sprouted.“

  113. It was most disconcerting- the level of hypocrisy that was displayed yesterday. NONE of the rioters were called TERRORISTS or EXTREMISTS. Can you imagine what would have happened if they were from another race/ color/ ethnicity/ religion?

  114. JoAnn says...

    Joanna and team — longtime reader and I never comment, but I just want to say that I really appreciate how you’ve posted on politics and do not shy away from difficult topics. I know some lifestyle sites are scared to do this, but I think it must be done in an emergency. As an Asian woman, I have really struggled these last 5 years carrying these difficult topics with family members. I appreciate sites like yours that can meet conservative-adjacent audience (I know there are some) where they are and model what a thoughtful discussion could look like in their own spheres. Thank you.

  115. Christina says...

    Thank you for taking this approach. Yesterday’s actions were horrifying yet not surprising. The mob was invited and incited by leaders of the Republican party. Leaders cannot repeatedly falsely claim that an election was stolen and not expect dire consequences. We have so much to process here. I’m glad we took back the Senate.

  116. Denise says...

    I’m not even a little bit surprised. It’s completely predictable. What’s more horrifying than the domestic terrorism is in fact the lack of prosecution because these people are white. There is no coming together with racists, which to be clear is nearly half of our nation. If I hear one more speech about coming together I’ll implode. We need to prosecute the illegal actions of these people and rid our society of the idea that white people get a pass no matter what they do. If Biden/Harris don’t come in strong and demand full prosecution of ALL of these people and their cheeto of a leader then there’s nothing in the new administration to admire. That’s what I’m afraid of, the failing of the new administration to be strong enough in the aftermath of the last 4 yrs. I’ve never wanted to be wrong so badly but my hope is zero.

  117. johnette says...

    It’s really sad the riots in Seattle and everywhere else could not
    have been quelled as quickly, with enforcement and curfews enacted instantly. I feel so bad for the business owners who had to live
    with riots for months. Thankfully none of those protesters set fire to the White House.

    • Jay says...

      What? Read the room, Johnette.

    • Tiffani says...

      They broke into the capitol during a joint session of Congress, were aided by law enforcement and it took three hours to call in the National Guard because the president wouldn’t do it and Pence had to step in. How is that quick? And as of now, only 52 people have been arrested. Thousands were arrested on the spot as well as beaten, gassed and shot with rubber bullets at this summer’s protests.

    • courtney says...

      Johnette, this happened at the Capitol, not the White House. And it’s not like rioters didn’t attempt to start fires; they’d littered the halls with pipe bombs.

      Protests over the summer were extremely close to home for me, in Minneapolis. Hard things did happen, but to compare those protests to these, in which the president of our country is encouraging insurrectionists to dismantle the structure of our democracy, is grossly incongruous.

    • Lael Dalal says...

      You have a lot of introspection to do. The terrorists literally set bombs in the city and were armed. You have no right to compare these.

    • Molly says...

      “Johnette” you say? I saw this post before anyone responded & just moved on. He/she is just trying to get your goat. The trolls will troll. Good day to you “Johnette”.

    • Christina says...

      Johnette, it’s been proven that much of the property damage in BLM protests was done by anti-protestors (white supremacists). I feel bad for you for maintaining a closed-minded, racist attitude in this day and age.

    • Lauren says...

      The rage that I feel towards your comment in unhealthy, and another thing I will need to process in this upsetting time in our world; thank you so much for that (obvious sarcasm in voice).

      While I cannot seem to conjure up a thoughtful response in this moment, about and why your words + tone display that you are speaking from a place of immense privilege, I wanted you to know that putting comments on the internet, when the intent seems to be to harm a group of people who are already feeling sad, enraged, and at a loss for how to make the country a better, safer, kinder, more just place, FOR ALL, is a special kind of cruel.

      May you have the capacity to look within, and figure out what drove your brain to encourage your fingers to type your asinine comment. Be better. Do better, and if all you can do is point a finger back at me for this response, then I truly, truly wish you all the luck in managing your ego now and in the future.

      Best wishes,
      another CoJ reader

    • Jill D says...

      Johnette,
      The protests in Seattle and elsewhere were not attempts to overthrow our government. They were protests that may have included violence or criminal acts but it is very different from what happened yesterday. Looting a Target is a criminal act but it is not an act of treason. The acts yesterday were acts of insurrection. It was an attempt by a violent mob to prevent our legally elected president/vice president from being confirmed. Also I want to echo the thoughts of many others that if the skin of the terrorists was other than white the streets of Washington would be awash in red.

    • Laura says...

      1. The ‘riots’ in Seattle were people demonstrating against the routine killing of black men and women by police. The insurgents who breached our Capitol building were conspiracy theorists and extremists who were mad that their candidate lost a legal and fair election.
      2. Law enforcement did NOT act quickly in this instance, and they did not arrest or detain those found out after curfew. Compare that to literally any BLM protest where excessive force was used.
      This isn’t something that’s up for debate- the last time a group of people tried to violently overtake the center of government we had a civil war. Easy to see that you’d be on the wrong side of history then and now.

  118. Carol says...

    I feel we are dangerously close to losing democracy. I am angry, anxious and confused. I am confused as to why this president was allowed such terrible behavior for the last four years. It all escalated to yesterday’s terrible insurrection.

    • Sage says...

      The existence of “checks and balances” we’ve been taught since we were kids is imaginary. It’s too easily dismantled to be anything but rhetorical.

  119. Summer says...

    I feel so scared for the inauguration in a few weeks. It seems incredibly unsafe given how easily these rioters could make it into what should be one of the most secure locations in the country. Plus, the lack of police response concerns me – is there an event in which they would stand up to white terrorists? Seems not at the moment.

    • C. says...

      Summer, Yes! We should all be concerned about the lack of police response and preparedness yesterday and asking WHY was that the case? I assure you, it was intentional.

      I live in Capitol Hill, 4 blocks from the US Capitol building. During BLM’s peaceful protests in DC, the capitol and other buildings (including Trump Hotel) had federal police, military, and DCPD surrounding them. There were serious barricades, and officers stood shoulder to shoulder every 4 feet around the US Capitol perimeter. (To protect against… peaceful protesters? Black moms handing out granola bars?) Armored vehicles, helicopters, flashbombs, and pepper spray were used against peaceful protesters.

      Contrast that with the response to yesterday’s violent attack by white supremest Trump supporters. Why such a difference in federal response?

      It was not a “surprise” or unavoidable attack yesterday: The federal police chose not to show up. There was no preparation for violence that was planned publicly online and would have been easy to avoid.

      When we choose a white supremesist as a leader, we get a white supremesist response to “Law and Order”. I’m glad I’m waking up to what this country really is – and has been for 200 years. Our Black brothers and sisters cannot and should not have to continue to fight this fight alone.

  120. June says...

    speaking as someone of european descent, i think we need to talk clearly and openly about white supremacy. the violence it has caused. how that violence is not in the past but alive with us every day. how ignoring that violence engenders further violence. how intentional we are about protecting our own privileges. how there can’t be a meritocracy because our whole civilization is built on purposeful genocide and terror. our systems of power have different names than they did in the past but they still do the same work. all of it was always created for unfettered capitalism. we sacrifice human lives every day to hoard a little more. i’m not sure what to do about it. the more i look at history, the more clearly i see the patterns, and i can’t unsee them. i think recognizing the systemic power injustices and how we benefit directly from them is essential. also trusting those who talk about how these systems hurt them. we ignore and dismiss so much because our privilege allows it. there was nothing exceptional about that mob. we made this. they are us.

  121. Kristin says...

    Teaching the day after a day is always the hardest. I am helping my 6th grade students process what happened by giving them photos to observe, wonder & think about. The discussion from my students gives me hope, but also makes me wish more adults could act with as much integrity, kindness & empathy that my 12 year olds are displaying today.

    • Molly says...

      As the mother of a 6th grader, thank you. My kids are fairly sheltered from the news and I need to sit down with them and describe what happened and let them talk about it. Not sure how to do that. Any recommendations welcomed. They are 12, 10, and 8.

    • Erika says...

      Thank you for carrying your role beyond the textbook, Kristin.

    • Hilary says...

      Molly-

      6th grade teacher here as well, and here’s a good link from We Are Teachers with some guidance for teachers that you could use. https://www.weareteachers.com/resources-for-teaching-about-attack-capitol/

      This will definitely need to be an ongoing conversation, and your kids may be fatigued from school discussions today. I’d start with what they know/heard/think so you can craft your response based on that. They may also have questions and need reassurance of their safety.

      This link may be useful as well: https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea/talking-kids-about-attack-capitol

  122. Jessica says...

    It goes beyond white privilege, though. Much like the police and government officials who were KKK members during the civil rights movement, the white nationalist MAGA cult of today is filled with members of law enforcement, as well as state and federal government officials. Those cops taking selfies inside the Capitol with the terrorists are just hanging out with their friends—they’re on the same page. The claim that “we had to just let them do their thing” (as one Capitol cop said to the NYT yesterday) is absolutely false—these police officers welcomed these people in with open arms, happily complicit in white power.

  123. Amanda says...

    My thought on my mind this morning was how was I going to talk about this with my 3rd grade students?
    I was worried for them, maybe being scared or nervous about what they saw, and also recognized that they might not understand the context or the gravity of the situation.
    And as I told my husband before leaving for school, I also heavily worried that there may be students in my class whose parents supported what happened, who watched on TV and encouraged the events that were unfolding.
    Nothing could have prepared me for this conversation with a group of children who come from all different backgrounds including political views(our county is a very RED county in rural MN).
    So in the end, I decided to share my thoughts after a student brought it up during our morning get together meeting. I may get in trouble for “exposing my personal belief” as teachers have the expectation of being neutral individuals, but what I told them was: it was heartbreaking, scary and not ok. We need to follow rules and laws, we need to disagree respectfully and we need kindness now more than ever. We need to be helpers now more than ever. We need to do better than that and strive for more than that.
    Their reactions actually suprised me, Icould see in their faces a glimmer of reassurance and their nodding of understanding wasn’t joyful or overly excited but intentional nodding. They took it to heart.

    • Colleen S says...

      I was in the first and second grade during the Gulf War and don’t remember my teachers ever discussing the war with us. I would watch the news with my parents on occasion, and be deathly afraid that the rockets would come to the U.S., but my parents said they wouldn’t, so I guess that was enough.

    • Anna says...

      Thank you Amanda

    • Mary Chiavelli says...

      “We need helpers now more than ever” – thank you for this Amanda.

  124. Illana says...

    Horrifying, terribly sad, deeply embarrassing for our country, there aren’t enough superlatives. Here is something that I found to be a light last night, a comment from my 15-yr-old son:

    My kids (11 and 15) and I watched much of the Congressional speeches that followed once the Capitol was secured and the confirmation of electoral results continued. We were deeply moved by many of them, and my 15-year-old son said something particularly striking after Senator Mitt Romney (R, Utah) spoke. My son said that for the large part of his ‘politically aware’ years, all he has known is division, factions, people seeing each other as enemies in our country and across the aisle, and that *tonight* after the chaos had ended, these speeches were the first time he felt like he was hearing people put a toe out in stepping toward unity. It was amazing to hear his sense of all of this. It echoed what I have wondered for the last 4 years — how much of a huge swing toward chaos would the country need in order for it to finally swing back at all? How much division, how much insanity, how much racial injustice, how much of a pandemic or how many? Perhaps it is telling that it may have taken what happened yesterday for people to begin to hear each other, for there to be some humility. ALSO – so much gratitude to the people of Georgia, Stacey, and all those who worked and sent letters to get out that vote – WOW.

    • Maryn says...

      Loved Romney’s speech and love this comment <3

    • Marie says...

      Thank you for the comment. I am hoping that this can be unifying in some way too. Republicans are just as appalled by this as Democrats, and the people protesting yesterday represent a small minority. I am thankful for Congressman Massie, Senator Rand Paul, and so many others that represent their party well.

    • Victoria says...

      I said to my partner that if Mitt Romney is being brought as a voice of sanity then things are way beyond (&74@%!

      And Mitch McConnell doesn’t get to go from psycho-supporter-in-chief to well-reasoned-protector-of-democracy at the drop of a hat either.

  125. Libbynan says...

    I have heard people comparing this to Pearl Harbor. Wrong! That was an enemy attack from outside. This was the Confederate Army attack on Fort Sumpter. This was an attack from insurrectionists from inside our own country. For the first time in my 73 years of life, I am glad my father died at 62. He fought in two wars to protect this country and its constitution and these criminals just spit on his grave in a National Cemetery. I am sickened, saddened, and shocked. You don’t only believe in free and fair elections when your side wins. I still believe Gore won in 2000, but I didn’t break down the Capitol doors to express my disapproval of the legal outcome. I just suffered (greatly) through eight years of George W. Bush. We are fighting a civil war against people who have no idea what the Constitution says and don’t care. We must stand firm and stay the course.

    • Colleen says...

      I’m sure my late grandfather, who died almost 18 years ago would have felt the same. He fought two tours in Korea and one in Vietnam, and I know he’d have lost his mind seeing this on the news. He was incensed on 9/11, so this would have ticked him off.

  126. Laura says...

    In 2007 I was at a protest against the war in Iraq led by veterans for peace. About 200 of us decided to jump over a wall in front of the capitol (far away even from the capitol steps) as a civil disobedience act. We were IMMEDIATELY arrested- I was put in zip ties and held with elderly veterans for 13 hours, and charged with crossing a police line. That misdemeanor was on my record for 7 years. I know they have the police force (not to mention secret service, federal agents, homeland security etc) to have blocked these insurgents from entering. I know they could have arrested all of them- instead they literally let them in, and then let them walk out without consequence. I have been tear gassed, kettled, and beaten by police at anti-war, BLM, and other demonstrations. The police chose not to apply force to white nationalists.

    • h says...

      The inaction yesterday was loud and eloquent.

  127. Phoebe says...

    I’m horrified, angry and sad all at the same time. I am SHOCKED by Trump’s message to the people and that only 30 people were arrested?!?!?! This is an act of domestic terrorism plain and simple and it shows how much work we have to do as a country. THANK god Biden will be in office soon but that is not enough. We have so much work to do as a country and we are clearly so fractured. I’m furious on so many levels. How do people end up like this? How do we come together to fix this? There is a lot to unpack here. I’m grateful for posts like this and this community

  128. K says...

    Thank you for all of this. I’m so thankful for this community more than ever and for this post that encapsulates so much of my anger, frustration, and pain.

  129. Kate says...

    I think of you often, Joanna, and other reads residing in the U.S. I imagine it is a frustrating and frightening time, and I think especially so for black Americans. It seems the Great American Experiment is failing and that individualism, capitalism and distrust of government does not create a healthy, empathetic society. Hopefully the U.S. will build back better now that the flaws have been so brutally exposed.

  130. Mallory Adiego says...

    Yesterday was awful, despicable, and utterly predictable. It was a logical progression of Trump’s entire presidency. The white supremacy on FULL display, also awful, horrifying, and utterly predictable. We need recourse and consequences if we’re to have any hope of moving forward.

    I’m trying to focus on the positive:

    1. Senate MINORITY leader Mitch McConnell
    2. GOP breaking rank (too bad it was breaking rank to be even more evil) and not being a homogenous party of McConnell’s will
    3. GEORGIA!!! We now have the Presidency, House and Senate
    4. Trump being silenced on social (too little too late)
    5. Talk of impeachment or utilizing 25th… *fingers crossed*

  131. Maria Anagnostopoulou says...

    I watched this yesterday live on greek tv. It was like a bad dream. At first I could not believe that it was an assault to the Capitol. Crazy people, without brains without logic, they are not republican but pure fascists like their leader. Have you seen their faces? If you go back to history this incident reminds nazis incidents before the WWII. All american democratic forces must be together now. How on earth the Americans after Obama voted Trump beats me.

  132. courtney says...

    Whew. Thank you for posting this. I don’t honestly know that I have a lot to say that hasn’t been expressed by others already;
    I’m not surprised. I’m disgusted and disturbed. I know that the people who did this and who condone it felt justified, which just shows what parallel universes exist in our country. And that’s a lot to overcome. I don’t think all differences of opinion can ever be – or should ever be – smoothed away, but I am *hopeful* that over time, while some people may never give the incoming administration a chance, there are others who may have previously felt unseen who open up to moving forward and being a better collective citizenship. But it’s hard, knowing the divisions that exist – not even in ideology, but in the morality and decency. I work internationally and often have to be cognizant of when elections are happening in a given country, beyond cultural awareness, but for the reason of safety in case of unrest. I am now looking at the future of U.S. elections having the same precarious tone.
    This was disappointing and ugly in a huge way. I am not saying anything new, but I appreciate that you’ve at least opened this space up to talk about it and acknowledge it. Posting anything else this morning would have felt tone deaf.

  133. Shannon says...

    Thank you for this post. It heartbreaking to see this happen in our country and horrific in spite of everything we have already witnessed as a nation in the last four years. I’m so grateful that you are using this space to give space for thoughtful and critical reflection.

  134. Liz Slyh says...

    I’m fucking outraged. I live in Portland and have spent the last summer defending my city and many, many peaceful BLM protestors to my family. Earlier this year we had protestors being placed in unmarked vehicles driven by federal agents taken to god-knows-where and here, in our country’s most sacred halls with ALL of our members of congress inside, I saw people gently escorted down steps after mounting an insurrection against a fair and legal election. What the actual fuck.

    I’m so sick of lies. I’m sick of Qanon bullshit, I’m sick of pretending that nationalism doesn’t have horrible repercussions (that we can see in our not-too-distant past), I’m sick of my family members whining about Christians being under attack when what they are really saying is they want a theocratic government because power is nice. I’m so fed up.

    • Also a Portlander and I echo every word you say, Liz.

  135. Liz says...

    I’m feeling many emotions, but mostly red hot RAGE that this has happened. I want to light up Sen. Ted Cruz’s phone and tell him what a POS he is (he, unfortunately, represents my state), but his voicemails are all full. He helped to lead this insurrection. He and Trump are traitors to our country.

    • Courtney Cooper says...

      Liz,
      I’m also a Texan and I agree, since long before now, Cruz has been THE slimiest, shadiest, most disgusting bottom feeder masquerading as a public servant. Yet another reminder that local elections are just as important as national ones…

  136. Loren says...

    I am hoping that your readers will take the time to contact their elected officials in DC and demand 45’s immediate removal from office.

    • Charlie says...

      YES – Can we have a post on how to most effectively support folks like Abrams to take our country back and how to most effectively demand better of those who have failed us – like the GOP, who allowed (and encouraged) this tsunami to build unchecked?

    • Karen says...

      Yes! That was my first move this morning, too.

    • anne says...

      I called my rep (Lauren Underwood, whom I was so happy to make phone calls for this election), and both of my senators. I left messages, and plan to call back again. I know it might feel pointless, but it is kind of the least we can do to make our voices heard in these completely ridiculous times.

  137. mb says...

    I’ve been on the verge of tears since yesterday. Like Obama said–this is not a surprise–everything has been building up to this. Yet I was still shocked, angry, horrified, and terrified. I felt immense joy waking up to the Georgia news and then as the day unfolded found myself spiraling. I couldn’t sleep. I live in fear that there will be little consequences for these terrorists and that Trump will pardon them. Or that Trump himself will not suffer any of the repercussions of inciting this riot.

    It is hard to do everyday and ordinary things when everything is beyond the ordinary.

    My heart goes out to all of you with children–it must be hard to explain what is happening.

    • Kate Lucas-Falk says...

      I have a seven year old in 2nd grade. This morning during virtual-learning her teacher addressed what happened at the Capitol last night and opened it up to a classroom discussion. Her father and I heard everything. It’s surreal to hear a conversation like that, but I’m also heartened that her school had the awareness and courage to speak about it directly. I have to believe that change starts with our kids understanding the problems we face as a country, and the power they have to change it.

  138. Catherine says...

    Thank you for talking about this today. It is terrifying. While I’m so hopeful for the next 4 years with a Democrat majority AND as a president, I’m nervous that this type of violence and terrorism will continue. It’s absolutely white supremacy, and as a white woman and mother, I feel a responsibility to try and stop it.

  139. H says...

    Just as I had the impulse to come to this page and read your thoughts this morning I also thought – no, I can’t expect a processed POV. You all are human and it’s a testament to your integrity and clear heartedness to even try to tackle this topic while still processing it yourselves. How we all show up right in the midst of ongoing trauma is something I struggle to wrap my head around. And yet here we are, and must continue to be, to unravel this mess and create something (so much) better. Sending you big hugs right back.

  140. Michelle says...

    After yesterday I honestly don’t want to here shit about the violence of Black Lives Matter protesters ever again!

  141. Agnès says...

    From Paris, I have been watching the events “live”, on the NY Times and on Le Monde and other french media. I was shocked by how timid the NY Times was and so so SO shocked that the police was nowhere to be seen. They took time to come. They took time to take this crowd out. Was it a strategy? I don’t know. Honestly, democracy is fragile, it made me think of how we must be the best citizens we can and go back to reading our classics, and Rousseau’s social contract: yes, democracy is such a challenging regime that it can only work with perfect humans (gods). Sending many thoughts your way everybody in the US. You are not alone, and it could definitely happen to any of our democracies…

  142. Calla says...

    Thanks for addressing this Joanna! I am feeling.a very similar way; just so demoralized knowing there will be no repercussions for these acts of violence. And I have such a feeling of dread that this is foreboding of what we can expect for all the crimes committed over the last four years; complete impunity.

    Those images and videos of hateful violent white people being allowed to do whatever they please are so powerful that while I am happy to have the elections results certified, it is getting hard to remain hopeful.

  143. AE says...

    I would argue that white supremacy and privilege is pretty the *only* factor. Donald Trump doesn’t have a platform— he’s not “good at economy”, he’s not good at forge in policy, he is awful by every measure of domestic policy (from education to deficit to pandemic handling). He’s not even republican (he became one- in title only- when he began running for office). The only reason any of these people have to support him is that he echoes and plays to their fears of white inferiority cloaked in false supremacy. He lets them believe that they are inherently better than everyone else, inherently entitled to land that isn’t theirs, police forces that aren’t theirs, and bodies that aren’t theirs. Hillary was correct. This isn’t okay. Let’s stop sugarcoating this. If this mob had been mostly black oriole not only would you (and other media) not hesitate to identify them by race, but as you mention, there would’ve been mass bloodshed. This wasn’t just an angry, MAGA hat crowd. This was a riotous mob of mostly white people. And if you know anything of American history, this isn’t the first or last time that an angry white mob has shown up, tried to violently twist the world to its will, and gotten away with it. I also urge you to shut down any comments that will surely follow that accuse trouble “on both sides”. No, this is fully one sided. When people and BLM are protesting, it’s against being shot down in their homes/cars/streets by cops, protesting the dangerous of 400+ years of systemic racism. This? An otherwise privileged white mob rioting in response to LEGITIMATE ELECTION RESULTS. These are not even close to the same thing. And not acceptable. Every single person who attempts to justify this or deflect, is indirectly responsible for this. Further, Mike Pence didn’t “step up”— nothing he did was heroic. He’s been a spineless coward supporting this racist con-man for 4 years. He doesn’t get to decide, 2 weeks before it ends, to actually do his job. Further, the sheer lack of response/ presence of police forces yesterday is a pretty good indication that these fools (FBI, administration, etc) *knew* what was being planned and just didn’t care/ wanted it to happen/ let it happen. The capitol, on any other day, is like Fort Knox.

    • N says...

      I could not agree more with your comment. Very well said. I don’t believe that a person could support DT and not also be responsible for condoning overt racism, destruction of democracy for his personal gain, and many more disturbing things that he has displayed over his presidency.

    • Ali says...

      Exactly

    • R says...

      This. I can’t tell you how many comments I saw on social media yesterday with his supporters saying stuff like “well how is this any different than you guys looting Target?” or “wow, looks like democrats are suddenly against protesting.” IT DOESN’T EVEN COMPARE.

    • karen says...

      well said, thank you.

    • Rebekka S. says...

      I share every single one of these thoughts and feelings, thank you! The false equivalencies being made between the protests this summer and what happened yesterday are so grossly ignorant and irrelevant. What we saw yesterday was white supremacy living its best life while the world watched.

      ANYONE who continues to defend what happened yesterday is a traitor to this nation. Furthermore, every single person who voted for Trump is complicit in what we saw yesterday. Every. single. one. Pardon me while I google “how to quit America”.

    • Ramya says...

      Exactly. Anyone who still doesn’t get that racism/white supremacy is the ONLY platform of the POS and the only reason he got elected, I would encourage you to read the epilogue of Coates’ “We Were Eights Years in Power.”

    • Courtney says...

      100% rebekka

    • Heather says...

      This captured it perfectly – agree with everything.

    • Kristen says...

      Yes.
      I heard the news first (mob breaks into Capitol) and then saw pictures and had to check myself when my gut reaction was “it’s a bunch of frat boys taking selfies.” It was hard to reconcile the pictures of grinning good old boys stealing podiums or sitting at democrats’ desks, with those of terrified staffers huddled together in the House chamber. It seems like a lot of the mob thought it was a joke to break into the Capitol, and like so many have said, only white people get away with that kind of joke.

    • Rachel L says...

      AE – I’m reading through these comments with tears but I had to reply to yours because it sums up EVERYTHING i feel about Trump and his whole sick entourage. I am STILL this morning reading Twitter posts saying ‘He’s the greatest President we’ve ever had. The only one who really has ever stood up for us and cared about America” I don’t engage because, to my mind, they are lost and just not worth the effort. But the ONLY reason they feel he ‘cares’ about them is that he echoes and enables their ignorance and fear and prejudice. It is patently obvious that he cares about NO ONE but himself – and that includes his grifting family. He’s not a Republican. He’s not anything. He’s just for Trump and Trump alone. And they have welcomed him with open arms and been content to wallow in the cesspit he’s created…only now are some of those who have aided and abetted him running scared as they see their future careers disintegrating….NOT out of any true remorse. It’s absolutely vile. Thanks for giving us a place to say these things CoJ – so much appreciated.

  144. E says...

    I was watching in tears and texting my friends who live on the Hill, many with small children. I’m at once surprised at the lack of arrests, action and accountability but not at all surprised because our country thrives on white supremacy. This is whiteness at work. Literally praying these people get arrested and held accountable.

  145. Ali says...

    This was an absolute disgrace. There is no question about how different this would have ended if a BLM protest devolved into the coup that this clearly was. Anyone who denies that fact and continues to spout delusional allegations about a “rigged election” without any evidence at all should just admit that they support white supremacy. In addition, Trump clearly incited this violence and should be arrested and charged along with every other members of the house and senate who continued to object to the certification of the election results with baseless claims. I am ashamed to be an American today.

  146. K says...

    I am sickened and horrified at yesterday’s attack on our democracy. Thank you for acknowledging this event today in a thoughtful and timely way.

  147. Sarah says...

    All I can think looking at those photos is that the politicians finally feel the fear that we put in the hearts of our school children on a regular basis with unannounced lockdown drills. As their teacher, I see the terror in their eyes every time. I wish I had more to add but yesterday was traumatic, and today, I teach the kids.

    • Jules says...

      This is also exactly what I thought when seeing the pictures of yesterday, obviously among all the other thoughts.

    • Ali says...

      Let’s hope they remember their fear when it comes to regulating firearms, but somehow I doubt it.

    • Shannon Courney says...

      As an educator I had this thought too. It’s been pushed to the back of my mind teaching online this year, but the daily, back-of-your-mind fear and all to often occurring lockdowns in school came back to me. I’m almost scared to say it, but if we have somehow, impossibly, normalized this for our children, what if the scene yesterday was the start of other normalizations in our society? Concise, clear actions need to be taken to ensure this is not the case.

    • Amy says...

      Oh wow. This comment stopped me in my tracks. Thank you for adding much-needed perspective on the realities of living in America.

  148. Lael says...

    It’s heartbreaking, disgusting, and awful. We need to talk about white supremacy and domestic terrorism and the extremist that lurk in every neighborhood around us. This is a huge problem dating back to our founding. Terrorism has aways been alive and well. We don’t call it terrorism, but protesting, and we need to change that and root these people out of all of our circles. I have so much more to say but all I can manage now.