On this day, the second anniversary of the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, I took a look back through what I posted on Facebook on that day, as well as some of what my friends posted in response.
I shared the following from my friend Brian:
“I just heard that the police are slowly, peacefully, and methodically dispersing these insurrections that breached our capitol, vandalized it, and desecrated it. Now compare that to how the police acted when they were dispersing BLM supporters in front of Lafayette Square so Trump could get a photo opp in front of a church while holding a bible upside down. Do not tell me that there is no such thing as white privilege. It cannot be more vividly illustrated than it has today.”
I appreciated Brian’s comment a lot because he’s white, but especially because he’s written at length about just how conservative he used to be. The two years that have elapsed since Brian posted this comment have only reinforced his point. Police in the U.S. set a record for the number of people they killed last year. Two years after the murder of George Floyd by 4 Minneapolis police officers and all the talk of racial reckoning, the police are just as unreformed as before and black and brown people remain in just as much danger.
I posted the following myself:
“Right after they finish certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory, Congress should impeach Trump again.”
This sentiment found a fair amount of agreement among my friends (as well as some whataboutism from a former classmate who also works in tech).
My last post on January 6, 2021:
“By the way, Ted Cruz is still going to object to the certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory after all this. On behalf of a man who called his wife ugly, and called his father a murderer. To call this man spineless is an insult to actual invertebrates.”
As it turned out, Ted Cruz had a lot of company–5 other senators and 121 House members (all Republicans) challenged the electoral results in Arizona (a state first called for Biden–correctly–by Fox News). Additional GOP senators and House members also challenged the Pennsylvania results.
Fast-forward to the current day, and as I write this the House has started the 12th round of voting for the next Speaker of the House. All three GOP nominees for speaker (Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, and Kevin Hern) are among the 147 Republicans who voted in favor of overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election–the very objective of the insurrectionists who invaded the U.S. Capitol and sent them running and hiding for their lives. In the wake of a 2022 election which gave the GOP control of the US House of Representatives, twice-impeached Donald Trump is once again running for president (an outcome which would have been avoided had he been removed from office and disqualified from holding future office).
The continued absence of accountability for any elected officials who gave rhetorical aid and comfort to the insurrectionists 2 years after it took place is sad, but unsurprising unfortunately. Also unsurprising is accountability (when it has landed) landing most heavily on the foot-soldiers of the insurrection. Particularly for former members of the military who participated in this attempted coup, the punishments meted out have not been sufficiently severe from my perspective.
Also lost in the coverage of the U.S. Capitol insurrection is a similar incident at another state capitol–Olympia, Washington. Even if there weren’t other such incidents at state capitols 2 years ago, the comfort level on the political right with threatening and/or enacting anti-government violence, whether by those who plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan over COVID restrictions, or the Bundy clan and their abuses of federal land is far too high.