Hopefully this year got off to a good start for you. Somehow it seems like an eerie continuation of last year: the COVID health crisis still has us in its grip, stores are shuttered, home schooling and home office has become the norm and the rhetoric of our current president and his orbit incite people to violence.
Last week we witnessed the culmination of hate speech and the breaking of social norms: a violent mob stormed the Capitol. There were scenes of pillage, monstrous behavior and even murder. The Republican mob swung confederate and US flags, wielding baseball bats, tasers and flex cuffs. Some chanted that they wanted to hang Mike Pence.
Many have pointed out that the majority of the insurgents were white. I recall the mainly peaceful protests in the summer by BLM, which were at times met with sheer brutality and over-policing. Where were the police officers in riot gear last Wednesday while the Capitol was stormed by militia-like people, armed and dangerous?
After this shocking event the Democrats and tenRepublicans swiftly voted to impeach our 45thpresident a second time, for “incitement and insurrection. To show that words matter. To show that acts of violence and insurgence have no room in a democracy. To show that we live in a country where every single vote counts, that the GOP cannot just wish away the facts. Joe Biden was elected by the people to become our 46th president.
The Los Angeles Times wrote that what happened at the Capitol was not a protest, it was terrorism. The “Capitol building was invaded by domestic terrorists in an armed insurrection”. Those involved, whether directly or through spreading lies and instigating violence, have to be held accountable. We have to prove to ourselves and to the world that our democracy works.
Next week Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be inaugurated. They have tremendous work ahead. But with a good team of experts, integrity, vision and reliance on science they will succeed. We cheer for them and look forward to the next four years!!
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I look forward to seeing you at the DAG Inauguration Party next Wednesday!