January 6th, 2021
Image From: Thomas P. Costello - USA Today
Just when we all started to feel hopeful for the new year, along came January 6th, which ended up making history in more ways than one. The morning started off with much anticipation over the Georgia Senate runoff elections, but in the early afternoon, the race was called and it was confirmed that both democratic candidates had won, which meant that the Democratic party would be taking back control of the Senate after 6 years of holding the minority. Following the historic election results of late 2020, both of Georgia’s Senator-elects also made history last Wednesday, when Rev. Raphael Warnock became the 1st Black Senator, and Jon Ossoff the 1st Jewish Senator to ever be elected in Georgia. In addition, Ossoff, at age 33, will become the youngest sitting Senator once he is sworn into office.
Alongside the Georgia elections, January 6th was the day Joe Biden was scheduled to be certified as the new President-Elect by Congress. Now, usually the certification of a president-elect is not a historic event, but as we have all learned from 2020, we must be ready for whatever surprises are thrown at us, and the rest of the day’s events certainly proved just that.
By now I’m sure you have all heard about the storming off the Capitol Building, but how does an attack on a federal building even happen? The answer lies with a Trump speech that began at noon. During this massive gathering of Trump Supporters at the Ellipse near the White House, the President addressed his supporters, asserting that he would “never concede” the election, and repeatedly claiming that the 2020 election was fraudulent. In addition, he called upon his supporters to march to the Capitol Building in protest, and evidently they listened. After the conclusion of Pres. Trump’s speech, and during the middle of the Congressional meeting, angry Trump Supporters successfully and shockingly broke their way inside of the Capitol building, forcing Congress to adjourn and evacuate the chamber. The day took a deadly turn when it was reported that 1 woman, a Trump Supporter and participant in the protest, was shot and killed by Capitol Police.
To turn on the TV and see images of domestic terrorists sitting at the desks of government officials like they owned the place left me speechless. So instead of trying to explain it myself, I called upon my Instagram followers to provide their responses instead:
[For privacy purposes, the authors of these quotes will remain anonymous]
“I was absolutely disgusted with the events that occurred...These terrorists/rioters [were] mostly all American citizens and the fact that they had to go on and vandalize not only our nation’s property but have the intention to hurt government officials and others is horrific.”
“I was angry but like more than anything I was just sad, disappointed, and kinda scared that so many people were ok with and justifying it.”
“To have our democratic liberties violated by an attempted coup just shows how divided and fragile our nation really is.”
“Right now we are striving for equality and fighting the injustices we see and it’s people from all walks of life helping and it’s so beautiful to see so many different groups of people coming together, [so] I see the raid on the capital as complete disrespect.”
“I was scared and confused...How did anyone let it get so far as to have people sit in senators' seats? I knew someone that when they visited the capital a few years ago, they got stuck inside because of a lockdown due to one person with a single BB gun. How on earth are we at this point now with windows being destroyed and others strolling inside?”
As you can see, the events of January 6th rattled the entire nation, and everyone who lives within it. Because of these horrific events, the political future of our country remains very uncertain. Did the violence on Capitol Hill signify the start of possibly violent political turmoil in the future? Or will the new administration be able to unify our country towards peaceful coexistence? The answers to those questions remain uncertain for the time being, but one thing is certain: If this is how 2021 is going to start off, it will surely be another historic year.
Apple, Charles. “Control of House and Senate since 1900.” Spokesman.com, The Spokesman-Review, 24 June 2020, www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/jun/25/control- house-and-senate-1900/.
Shelly Tan, Youjin Shin. “How One of America's Ugliest Days Unraveled inside and Outside the Capitol.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 9 Jan. 2021, www.washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/capitol-insurrection-visual-timeline/.
Steve Peoples, Bill Barrow. “Warnock, Ossoff Win in Georgia, Handing Dems Senate Control.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 6 Jan. 2021, apnews.com/article/Georgia- election-results-4b82ba7ee3cc74d33e68daadaee2cbf3.