Trump Incites Mob That Storms Capitol Hill


(Note: This article is categorized as an Op-Ed. As such, all opinions are that of staff writer Kelsey Byrd’s, and do not reflect the ideas or thoughts of Memorial High School nor the MHS Journalism staff team as a whole.)


January 6, 2021- it is a day that will be forever etched into the history books, destined to be the source of conversation for decades to come. It was the day that the birthplace of democracy was challenged on its very foundation; the ultimate test on rather elected US representatives and leaders would stand to fight for the nation’s prosperity or turn away and watch the republic they claim to love burn to ash. Wednesday, January 6, 2021- a day of fear, of grave consequence and the results of what happens when fear and hate triumph.


The Pro-Trump mob, comprised of mostly maskless white people, many of whom waved around ridicuolousy large Trump flags and proudly bore firearms, stormed into D.C. With them, they carried a vehement, unchecked rage that was fueled in them after weeks of  Donald Trump’s incorrect and baseless claims of how the election was fraudulent and that he was wrongly deprived of a second term. From here, largely allowed by police, the rioters breached Capitol barricades, made quick work of the windows and stormed into the US Capitol, where senators were meeting to argue over the certification of the Biden-Harris tickets. The pandemonium only escalated- senators and Vice President Pence were quickly evacuated, while the mob desperately tried to enter the House Chamber. One woman, presumed to be part of the far-right rioters, was shot and killed. 


A normal photo might tell a thousand words, but the ones from today tell a million. They show politicians cowering behind seats in fear of what lies outside, protestors groping presidential statues, dangling from the House Chamber, flippantly sitting in the office and desk of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. And yet there are things that these photos do not show. They don’t depict the sheer hypocrisy, double-standards and bigotry that kick started this whole event. This consisted of mostly White people who did not encounter the violent, repressive reaction that the  BLM protestors did. When thousands marched in D.C to represent the Black Lives Matter movement and to protest systematic racism and police brutality, Trump had  law enforcement push against them with all of its might. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump furiously tweeted. Here however, when the violent, and sometimes armed, rioters, many of whom carried the Confederate flag, charged into this country’s very capital, they were able to do so with ease.


More than just that though, there is the inexcusable hypocrisy showcased by the very people sworn into office. Many Republicans in both the Senate and the House have echoed Trump’s bogus claims of election fraud; in fact some even swore to fight Biden’s certification. They would have done so in vain, but they were willing to do it in yet another pathetic, spineless move of political theatre to appeal to Trump’s soulless base. In doing so, they told their conservative audience to distrust the American democratic process and to reject the next president-elect. Thus the Trump mob was born.


From here, the path to the conclusion of Trump’s presidency is both short and painfully long. There have been talks of invoking the 25th Amendment, in which Vice President Pence and two-thirds of Trump’s cabinet would have to agree that Trump is unfit for office and remove him. Twitter has also owned up to its massive negligence in constraining an always untruthful Trump, and has deleted three of his tweets while also locking him out of his Twitter for 12 hours. All of this would just be a slap on the wrist compared to what this flimsy excuse of a man deserves. Even after this fiasco, Trump’s response was to post a video on Twitter in which he spent most of it confirming the rioter’s allegations of voter fraud, before affectionately telling the Confederate-flag waving, violent, destructive criminals to go home and that he loves them. In his four undeserved years in office, Trump has continuously shredded our democracy with his disrespect towards the Black and minority communities, disregard for the Constitution and facist-colored desire for boundless power. And he has done so with a largely compliant Republican Party. Wednesday, January 6, 2021 was the day we saw what years of allowing a psychopathic, narcissist, wannabe-dictator into power gets us. Maybe however, it will also be the day that told us to never do it again.