The response from the riots at Capitol Hill raises alarming questions

Picture taken at Capitol Hill moments before the invasion of the Capitol building

PR Week

Picture taken at Capitol Hill moments before the invasion of the Capitol building

I have spent countless hours sitting at my laptop simply because I have no clue how to address this. I rewrote the introduction several times simply because I couldn’t seem to find words that described what was going through my mind. Despite my ever-changing thoughts, however, one question remained the same: 

What happened? 

The United States—the land of the free—is less united than it has ever been. 

People are abusing the freedoms our country is so well-known for, and it pains me to watch the news each time the television is on. But this past Wednesday hit me the hardest. 

The attack on Capitol Hill—an attack planned in hopes of delaying the counting of the electoral votes for the 2020 presidential election—only proved how much the United States is in turmoil. 

Wednesday, January 6 began as a fairly normal day. President Donald Trump held a rally early in the morning, and his supporters began a peaceful protest outside the Capitol building shortly following the rally. 

I continue to wonder what would have happened if the protesters at the Capitol were the same as the protesters at the Black Lives Matter movements. Would the outcome have been different? ”

However, that protest did not remain peaceful for long. 

Some of the protesters—some of them armed—decided to storm the Capitol building.

A part of me questioned this immensely the moment it happened. How did this group of people get through a so-called secure entrance so easily? 

They broke into senators’ offices, left notes behind stating “we will not back down,” and went as far as attempting to harm government employees in the building. 

The damage these rioters caused is immeasurable and unbelievable. It is very fortunate that there were only five casualties, but one is too many. 

But these riots were not a matter of Republican versus Democrat; these riots were a matter of extreme Trump supporters. 

In fact, Vice President Mike Pence commented on the actions of the rioters in a way that proves it wasn’t a battle of political parties. Pence stated “The violence and destruction taking place at the US Capitol must stop and it must stop now. Anyone involved must respect law enforcement officers and immediately leave the building.” 

Senator Todd Young, in agreement with Pence, also tweeted about the actions at the Capitol. He wrote, “In America, we have a right to peacefully protest, but what has occurred today goes against everything we stand for as a nation. This is not a peaceful protest—it is violence, and it is reprehensible. This must stop.”  

Many other government officials agree with the thoughts of these two. It became quite clear that the actions of the rioters angered many people.

Pence even proceeded to comment on his own post: “Peaceful protest is the right of every American, but this attack on our Capitol will not be tolerated, and those involved will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 

However, this did not happen. 

Most of the Trump supporters at the Capitol left without a scratch, and this raised a question about how racist the United States truly is. 

I constantly look back at the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred over the summer. These protests truly were peaceful—very few became violent, and the ones that were violent were primarily caused by white supremacists that wanted to give these protests bad press. 

However, the National Guard was brought in and caused a decent amount of damage to the protesters. Tear gas and guns were used during these protests, and some people even believed this was the right thing to do because of the destruction caused by the rioters. 

But when I compared the Black Lives Matter protests to the attack on Capitol Hill, I became disgusted. 

I continue to wonder what would have happened if the protesters at the Capitol were the same as the protesters at the Black Lives Matter movements. Would the outcome have been different? 

The riot on Capitol Hill only supported the assumption that racism in the United States is real.

How can people be so racist towards a group that has continued to be peaceful in a place full of violence? 

People of color are not the ones attacking the Capitol of our country; they aren’t the ones intentionally harming government officials. 

What happened at Capitol Hill on January 6 will not be forgotten, and future generations will have to spend hours in their history classes learning about it. Though it caused a major crack in our foundations and morals, it opened many people’s eyes to the truth of our country. 

This is our chance to turn our country around. This is a chance to fix our reputation and become a country that anyone would be proud to live in.