Yesterday thousands of riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists stormed the United States Capitol Building in a coup attempt. What makes their horrific actions even worse, was the fact they were incited by the current President of the United States. I was sad yesterday. I was scared. And I cried myself to sleep.
I always refer to the United States as the land of the free and the home of the brave. I remember when I became an attorney I took an oath promising to defend and obey the Constitution of the United States and of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
On January 6, 2021, I saw people storm the Capitol building. Many of them held Confederate flags. You know the flag of the side that lost the Civil War. The side that valued slavery more than the notion that all men are created equal. The side that did not believe black people, African-Americans like me deserved to be treated like people.
Yesterday I saw people remove flags of the United States of America and replace them with Trump banners. I saw people who claimed to be American patriots desecrate the American house of laws. There was a picture of a man walking off with a dais emblazoned with the seal of the House of Representatives. Another picture that saddened me was a photo of a man sitting in Nancy Pelosi’s office with a flag torn down and laying on a table. He was stretched out disrespectfully with a foot on top of documents of some kind. It was a sickening sight. It was a scary sight. Truly, it was a sight that made me sad.
I thought back to the dozens upon dozens of protests that took place throughout 2020. In many of those protests, black people like myself, my husband, and my children attempted to peacefully protest against police violence. I could not count the number of times those peaceful protesters were met by police officers or national guards persons in full riot gear. Those policing authorities treated the peaceful protesters who were exercising their first amendment rights like criminals.
As I watched the news yesterday, I saw the riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists treated so kindly and so gently. I saw them climbing the walls of the building and using crowbars to break windows. I saw the police allow that to happen. Like many others, I saw the riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists break door windows, destroy property, and behave in brazenly criminal ways. I saw the police allow it to happen.
A 6 o’clock p.m. curfew was given for Washington, D. C. yesterday. Yet at 7:30 p.m., I saw that protesters were still crowded around the capital building and were allowed to be there. Even after the riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists had spent the day behaving despicably and committing all manner of crimes, they were allowed to be mill about as they pleased with no interference. This saddened me.
On more occasions than I can count, I have heard people say the white privilege is a myth. They claim it simply does not exist. The events that took place in Washington, D. C. yesterday were a clear example of white privilege. If any person says that a riotous, insurrectionist, terroristic group of African-Americans would be treated the way the white people were yesterday, that person is a liar and not to be trusted.
Never in the history of the United States, has a group of African-Americans been allowed to behave in this manner. Had they attempted to do so, they would have been arrested and there would have been many, many deaths. They would not have been allowed to simply disperse as they saw fit when they saw fit.
I cried myself to sleep last night. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, a group of riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists were allowed to terrorize the capital building. They were allowed to terrorize America. And they were allowed to do it and I have not seen them suffer any consequences. I do not have the privilege to behave that way. My husband would not be allowed to behave that way. My children would not be allowed to behave that way. We are black. We are African-Americans and our very lives would have been in peril. That is white privilege and it is sad.
Some people say that the riotous, insurrectionist, terroristic people are not what America stands for. They say that those people are an exception. People claim that yesterday is an aberration. I say they are liars at worst and foolishly naive at best. Those riotous, insurrectionists, terroristic people are America. That is what makes me sad. Once upon a time, for a little while, people like that kept their feelings to themselves. They didn’t say their racist and sexist thoughts out loud. They kept them to themselves and to their like-minded friends and family members. I knew they existed of course. But they kept quiet so I could pretend I was safe.
Over the last few years, during the Trump presidency, those people have gotten bolder and they say and do whatever they want. They don’t feel they need to keep quiet. They don’t feel they need to hide their horrible and despicable thoughts and ideas. Now these people feel brave and they are emboldened to be riotous, insurrectionist, and terroristic. It makes me sad and I cried myself to sleep last night.
People carrying the Confederate flag and the Trump flag, are not carrying flags that represent the United States of America. They are not the flags that were thought of when the founders signed the Declaration of Independence or the United States Constitution. Those flags do not represent the United States Constitution or the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania I pledged an oath to honor and defend. Seeing the Confederate flag, the Trump flag, and flags with swastikas proudly carried by riotous, insurrectionists, terrorists at our nation’s capital made me sad. I cried myself to sleep last night.
The next morning, children asked me if the riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists will be at it again. They asked me if we needed to fear that people like that would come to our posh Main Line suburb. I had to tell them the truth. I do not know. I cannot predict what riotous, insurrectionists, terrorists will do. But I can hope. I hope that good people, right-minded people, honorable people will rise up and stand against the riotous, insurrectionist, terrorists. I cried myself to sleep last night. I hope I don’t have to cry myself to sleep tonight.
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