By Elena and Lily
Yesterday, we watched as the far right stormed into the US Capitol, forcing our lawmakers to evacuate and halt the proceedings of counting electoral votes. We watched as they waltzed in, armed. We watched as law enforcement did virtually nothing, whereas just over half a year ago we watched law enforcement treat Black Lives Matter protestors with much more force over much smaller acts of protest. Seeing as not to speak up would mean to be complicit in these horrendous acts, we decided to take today’s article to talk about what happened.
If you don’t know anything about this event you can check this resource from CNN or this one from USA Today detailing the events that transpired at the capitol on January 6th, 2021. We aren’t going to go too far in depth, but rather share our thoughts on the events.
We have listened to months as President Trump spread false information over the election and egged his followers on, to the point where even leaders of his own party won’t even stand with him anymore and social media sites have had to delete his posts and even ban him.
The United States cannot survive with such great divides. We cannot survive when thousands take it upon themselves to break into the proceedings of Congress because they disagree with over 80 million people over who should be president. Trump lost the popular vote by over 7 million votes, and the electoral college by 74 votes.
Breaking into the Capitol didn’t change that. Breaking into the Capitol only disregards the voices of democracy and ignores the system we’ve built. No, the system is not perfect, but in cases such as these trying to change the vote only undermines democracy.
We watched democracy further undermined as a US flag was replaced with a Trump flag and thrown to the ground. These extremists brought Confederate flags, a symbol of racism, into the Capitol building, a symbol almost everyone condemns. These are all acts that put our democracy in peril.
It was soul crushing to watch the mob run loose in the white house for hours with no repercussions and no law enforcement while armed, while knowing the minute a peace march for BLM started protestors were shot, beat, gased, and arrested. Meanwhile these people stormed into our capital with little to no resistance and at the end of the day walked out with no charges.
Today, we had a couple of different teachers ask us to discuss what happened yesterday. No matter what political affiliation, no matter what they believed about the election or who they wanted to win the election, we agreed this was an overstep. We agreed this had gone too far; iit needed to stop. We talked about how our parties needed to work together and that politics had become far too polarized.
Teens, like us, are appalled at what our country has become. Almost all of those part of the rioting mob went home with no consequences after ransacking one of the most important buildings in the country at one of the most important times.
We questioned the status of our nation. We agreed the divide between the parties has grown too large as the media only promotes the acts of the most far right and the most far left, and generalizations are left being made by both parties.
For once in his life we saw our president stay silent, as the tell tale sign he defended their violence, seen as they were “protesting” for him. Saying only very very late that it should end and not enforcing the proper punishments.
This was not a protest. Protestors don’t plant pipe bombs. Protestors don’t ravage the offices of elected officials. Protesting is marching in streets, boycotting, or writing letters. It is certainly not domestic terrorism like planting bombs is.
The actions of these people were unacceptable. They were not protesting for rights, but rather against one of the most important ones we have: the right to vote.Something the terrorist at the white house and Trump both made clear they wanted to take away. Without this right, democracy dies and facism takes over.
This post was not the one we expected to publish today, but a subject we found necessary to talk on, especially after the conversations with our peers we had today. We will most likely be mentioning this event more in depth in the future. Stay tuned to read more later in the month about how current teens are responding to the current political climate. Also you can expect to hear more on our current thoughts of the growing divide between parties, and the issues that will continue to grow unless we stop fighting. I hope you enjoyed today’s article. It was last minute and tough to write as I’m sure many other Americans are feeling stunned and troubled by this event. Please leave a like and comment if there are any of these points you’d like us to write more about in the future. Our goal is to keep people educated as well as stay real with you on our views of the world as teens.