U.S. Capitol Insurrection Crisis Inspires Unity

Ian Proctor, Staff Writer

Photo taken of the United States Capitol in 2018.

On Jan. 6, 2021, an armed, pro-Trump mob squeezed past Capitol police, stormed and occupied the United States Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. 

In what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called “A date that will live forever in infamy,” the mob, incited by President Trump, committed what is essentially sedition on that memorable day. The mob, some of whom said they were “starting a revolution,” caused damage to the Capitol building  and even occupied Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk in a stunning show of disregard for the United States government and democracy.

Due to the violence, Congress was interrupted and evacuated for several hours while the National Guard and D.C. Police cleared the building. However, after the violence, Congress surprisingly and bravely returned to the Capitol to complete the certification of Biden’s victory.

Of the 11 Senators who said they initially intended to object to the electoral votes that cemented Joe Biden’s victory, five renounced their objections in response to the day’s events, along with many Republican representatives.

In a display of unity, which has been rare these days since Trump’s inauguration and even before, Republicans and Democrats worked together to certify the election with no further delay, rebuking and condemning the mob’s disgusting actions and President Trump’s role in setting the stage for the violence, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referring to the events as “a failed insurrection.” Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi even offered a rare “elbow bump” after Biden was certified as the winner of the 2020 election.

Much like the Senate, LHS students displayed unity on this infamous day through  a near-unanimous condemnation of the attempted insurrection at the Capitol on social media. Many students compared the hypocritical police treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer to the D.C. police response to the Capitol rioters.

“I think it’s super important that we talk about this as a community that is almost exclusively white. We have a civic duty to not close our eyes to this because of the place we live and the color of our skin” said one student. 

“If we say nothing, we’re just as bad as the people who started this. We need to be the change we want in the world, and the events that transpired yesterday are some of the lowest, most garbage s*** I’ve ever seen human beings do.”

Because of social media, which ironically allowed for the members of the mob to organize in the first place, LHS students were able to watch the events unfold live as they happened, which coincidentally occurred on an asynchronous work day.

Congress that day recognized that the toxic partisanship and political atmosphere building up over Trump’s presidency is unsustainable, and that unity and civility must prevail to prevent such an event from happening again, and to preserve the United States itself. 

This moment may help define our generation, inspiring us to reject hate, lies and hyperpartisanship. We must practice showing each other respect, displaying unity, stopping the shaming of each other’s beliefs, and agreeing to disagree on political issues if we are to inherit this country. 

And I have hope we will do that.