The permanence of America was challenged 365 days ago and little to nothing has been done to make sure it never happens again. In fact, the attack on our Capitol has emboldened white supremacists and bred a new flock of illegitimate conservatives seeking to roll back our civil rights. What’s more, the attack on our Capitol is haunting the upcoming election. I feel the dread in my stomach already beginning to form. However, I refuse to run away from that feeling. I refuse to ignore it, subdue it, resist it or squelch it because that feeling will keep me from forgetting what happened January 6, 2021.
The backdrop for January 6th, 2021 was an election with historic voter turnout resulting in a major victory for Democrats led by Black women and other communities of color. The growing political power of non-white men in this country was a major flex and it sparked a whole coup attempt, more fitting for a Shonda Rimes show than an actual government takeover.
Americans have the tendency to forget about the worst parts of who we are as a nation (or at least remember them in a way that makes us feel good.). We like to sweep our most vile and heinous actions under the rug and pretend they never happened. But I won’t ever forget what happened on January 6th, 2021. The violent images of armed, red-hatted insurrectionists are embossed on my mind like the “F” on a FUBU t-shirt.
I feel the dread in my stomach already beginning to form. However, I refuse to run away from that feeling. I refuse to ignore it, subdue it, resist it or squelch it because that feeling will keep me from forgetting what happened January 6, 2021.
The ripple effects of that day will have consequences in our country for many years to come.
Since January 6, 2021 we’ve learned a lot more about the intentions of that day. We’ve learned that the former president’s staff and allies were involved in the coordination of the attack. We’ve learned that many of the insurrectionists had military training and, in some cases, ties to local law enforcement. We’ve also learned that misinformation fueled the narrative that president #45 was swindled out of a second presidential term. Despite these revelations, conservatives have held tight to far-right conspiracy theories and are attempting to seize the voting rights of mostly non-white people. Because for them, the real attack happened in the 2020 election and for many others it happened when we elected the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama.
2022 is a midterm election year and I beg all of us to never forget what happened that day. We have to remember the lengths that January 6’rs, Trump supporters, the alt-right, QAnon believers and your basic far right conservatives were willing to go to not only keep a stronghold on political power, but also to ensure a government that continues to oppress people of color, the poor, immigrants and LGBTQ communities. The dread and outrage we felt that day and continue to feel as the insurrectionists get a slap on the wrist in court must drive us to our local city council meetings, school board meetings, connect with organizing groups and also to the polls in November.
The growing political power of non-white men in this country was a major flex and it sparked a whole coup attempt, more fitting for a Shonda Rimes show than an actual government takeover.
The ripple effects of January 6th, 2021 can be the thing that caused a change in the way we do government and who it works for. It can be the catalyst for holding elected officials accountable to the will of the people. It can be a turning point in our democracy where we get the chance to look upon the best of who we are as Americans and not the worst.