So I witnessed what happened on Wednesday January 6 like everyone else in the country.
I was working in my office at home because like everyone I have been working from home since February. Fortunate to have a job and trying to focus on it - unlike so many during this pandemic.
The protests had been going on and my wife and son had them on the TV as we try and stay informed. Everyone is allowed to protest peacefully. It is a constitutional right and quite American. So while interested I didn’t really give it much mind. Biden and Harris would get the electors. The election would get certified. Republicans would make a nice little grandstand for political gain and boost fundraising. But political stunts happen all the time. Democrats do them too. My email is filled with this donation request, that emotional saber rattling to get me to open my wallet… no big deal.
Then my wife says they stormed the Capitol.
Huh? … I didn’t understand what she said, There’s a thunderstorm in DC… What?!?! … It made no sense.
Then I watched it unfold on the TV. Live. In living color…. Of course that color was mostly white.
I was stunned. Shocked. Horrified.
And angry. I still am.
Democrat or Republican... or even Green Party…. What The Actual Freak?!?!?!!
I want to scream and shout. I honestly don’t know what to write or say. I have this blog and feel a responsibility to write on this but Lord knows what to say?
This is insanity…. Yet take note I never said I was surprised.
The emotions are even now still raw so I apologize but here we go.
White supremacists stormed into the Capitol. Smashing windows. Breaking down doors. Stealing what they could get their hands on. Breaking into both the Senate and House chambers. Ransacking offices. Literally defecating in the halls. Tearing down an American flag and replacing it with a Trump banner.
Running around the halls waving the Confederate flags… DO YOU NEED MORE SYMBOLISM?!?!?!
And some of the police HELPED them!
The right wing domestic terrorists who scream about Blue Lives Matter every time you try to talk about the horrible incidents of police brutality stormed the Capitol. Killed a Capitol Police Officer. Wounded several. One will lose an eye … and …. Used an American Flag to BEAT Capital police officers. … There’s some more symbolism for you.
Patriots my ass.
White supremacists who are unable to grasp that times have changed and want to keep power by any means necessary… even if it means overthrowing the government and throwing democracy out the window.
These were domestic terrorists. FBI reports show that there were explosives. One person had 11 molotov cocktails - filled with homemade napalm. After they were forced out of the Capitol police found multiple explosives left behind. People brought automatic weapons. They brought zip tie handcuffs with lists of congresspeople and Senators to capture. They were specifically searching for Vice President Pence .. and had built a gallows for him!…. The list of crimes is growing with every newscast.
But there are consequences… And I have to admit they make me smile.
As I write this the FBI is hunting down those that participated in the insurrection. Arrests have been made and the FBI has said this is only the beginning. Many posted their actions on social media so they will be easier to find. … Live streaming their offenses… You think that may become evidence? Yeah me too.
(Note: The picture with this post is the FBI wanted poster. If you know any of these terrorists please inform your local FBI.)
The perpetrators have been going home to be shocked that their employers have decided to fire them as they have learned about their employees involvement... “That's authoritarian! Muzzling free speech!” No that’s capitalism.
They have been stunned and perplexed that they are on no-fly lists. “They think I am a terrorist?!” Let’s see … participating in the overthrow of the US government… Yup I think that fits the definition.
Their white privilege has turned into white whining.
"They maced me!" ... Puh-lease!
They are appalled that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all kicked the President off of their platforms. All citing violations of terms of service regarding violent content. “The risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote.
Twitter has begun a purge of accounts. Twitter saying the accounts were “engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy theory across the service.” Causing some current and former administration officials to lament their sudden loss of followers … not sure you want to call attention to the fact that you lost followers when lots of terrorist supporters drop off the platform.
Amazon, Shopify, and Paypal have dropped accounts associated with the President and his followers. Apple, Google and AWS have all followed suit and dropped the right wing social media app Parler.
Even those who set the stage for this terrorist attack are beginning to feel the consequences. Forbes has announced when companies who hire former Trump press secretaries “Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie. We’re going to scrutinize, double-check, investigate with the same skepticism we’d approach a Trump tweet. Want to ensure the world’s biggest business media brand approaches you as a potential funnel of disinformation? Then hire away.”... Think former administration officials will get those cushy media and corporate jobs after this? Yeah neither do I - at least for a few years.
A fast growing list of companies have suspended political donations to the 147 Representatives and 6 Senators who voted to oppose the election results. Get them in the pocketbook….There needs to be political fallout but that will take longer.
That all feels good but … what now?
These are amazingly hard times. How do I write a blog and help people move forward? Especially on diversity and inclusion when white supremacists ran amok in the Capitol. Honestly not sure.
It is comforting to see the news networks acknowledge the racial aspect of the police treatment of the Capitol protestors versus Black Lives Matter protests. Also calling those involved in the Capitol event “insurrectionists”, “white supremacists” and “domestic terrorists”. Finally describing them in the stark reality of who they are and not soft peddling.
We should also take some comfort as the insurrectionists are facing the consequences. The democracy is being tested but it will survive. Bruised. Battered. In need of fixing. But it will survive.
One thing I do know is that prejudice was not invented by a political party. Nor is it owned by one either. I have heard stuff from the mouths of Democrats and Republicans that make me shake my head. Racism. Homophobia. Anti-semitism.
That also means that tolerance is not politically aligned. And it is also growing in both parties. It follows the general trend in the country. Is change fast enough or far enough? No. That’s why I write this blog. But it is changing.
We should take some solace in that. The country is shifting. And regardless of party there are people that believe in Diversity. That is also why I write this blog. I believe there can be more allies.
At time like this I try and remember something Mister Rogers said: ”When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.””
Look for the helpers. On both sides of the aisle... I know it's hard... Really hard... I know... But try. It'll help you find some hope... It helped me.
As always I hope this helps. I look forward to continuing the conversation. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
All the best,