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Shame Thy Name is January 6

In my AP United States History class, there is a specific type of assignment called a Document Based Question or DBQ. Essentially, the assignment is supposed to center on one major event in American history and provide different aspects of the event by leveraging different points of view. My history teacher would often joke, “you never know when the next DBQ topic could come.” Sadly enough, I believe that the day for the next DBQ topic just arrived. 

January 6 of 2021 will go down in history as the modern falling of American democracy. A violent mob broke into the United States Capitol in an effort to halt the certification of the electoral vote and overturn the 2020 election in favor of Donald Trump. While the insurrection was, thankfully, unsuccessful - significant damage was done. Recordings have shown people stealing valuable items, harassing bodyguards, and generally trashing the Capitol. I watched televised news coverage of hundreds of people flooding one of the highest security buildings in DC. Some even managed to make it to the Senate floor and the Speaker’s office and stay long enough for selfies and such. The entirety of the event seemed almost unbelievable. Any presidential election can have only one winner, and that’s how a democracy should function. The minute we become sore losers and stoop to the levels of January 6, our democracy begins to crumble. 

Men like Abraham Lincoln endured a steady stream of failure and electoral defeats before becoming the US President in 1860. The idea that you can lose an election and try and try again and never quit – is a hallmark of America. This notion that you can turn nothing into something spectacular through hard work and dedication has been one that has attracted millions of immigrants to our nation. As a Hyphenated-American, I know for a fact that it’s something that attracted my own family to immigrate here. Yet, the minute Donald Trump uses violence as a means of intimidation, it overturns the entire idealism of the American Dream. The United States of America must work hard to steer away from anarchy and stick to it democratic roots. 

I’ll not even begin to attempt to talk about race and the multifarious nature of white privilege in the context of the January 6 insurrection. Imagine if the rioters had been black, or brown or any other form of Hyphenated-Americans!

Much work needs to be done and few heads need to roll. For one, I’d like to take a minute and admire Vice President Pence for his actions to help protect the capitol. However, Donald Trump must face the music and take onus for his actions. This is not the United States our founding fathers dreamt of, and severe measures should be taken to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. 

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