Updated 1/8/2021 to reflect five deaths, instead of four.
Yesterday, January 6, 2021, we witnessed an attempted coup in real time.
It’s not surprising, really. This mob of majority white, pro-Trump, domestic terrorists was encouraged to rebel against their own country by their white supremacist “president” and his yearslong, blatant aims at dictatorial power. They didn’t plan their attempt in secret, either. The New York Times reports they used social media apps, such as Parler and Gab to instruct their fellow insurrectionists where to go and how to break in. And we’ve all seen them spew hate and call for violence against lawmakers, Black Lives Matter organizers, and others across mainstream apps, such as Twitter and Facebook for years.
We knew this was coming. This was not an attack out of nowhere. And it begs the questions: Where were the police outfitted in riot gear, standing as if they were an impenetrable wall like they did when Black people were marching for our very lives — again — this past summer? Where were the pepper spray and the rubber bullets? Why didn’t the FBI stop this ish in its tracks, as they’ve foiled much more covert plots? Why does it appear these terrorists didn’t have to do too much storming because the U.S. Park Police seemingly moved barriers aside for them? Where were the police throwing people to the ground, rather than calmly escorting them down the stairs? Where were the knees on necks?
Of course, these questions are mostly rhetorical. We know why.
In the end, five died (one woman was shot inside the Capitol by police, one police officer died from injuries suffered at the hands of the terrorists, and the others apparently died of “medical emergencies”), 13 DC Police officers were injured, and 52 people were arrested — some of whom were journalists covering what went down, rather than actual factual rioters, who looted, plundered, pillaged, and ransacked the Capitol’s offices and meeting chambers. During their Villains’ Day Out, these criminals also waved the official flag of treason in the Capitol’s halls, something that had never before happened, not even during the Civil War.
Unashamed of their failed efforts to hijack the United States government, these terrorists brazenly gave on-camera interviews to the news media, as well.
For his part in inciting this rebellion, Trump’s Twitter account was locked for 12 hours, and his Facebook and IG, for 24 hours. Twitter claims if Trump violates any other rules, his account will be shuttered for good. (But, uh, what about all the violations of the past several years, Jack?!) This is all too little, too late.
There are rumors that talk of implementing the 25th Amendment are being floated around, but the GOP has allowed Trump to systematically set about destroying our democracy for the past four years, so it also wouldn’t be surprising if they refuse to go along with his removal from office 13 days early.
What happens next will be determined by the incoming Biden-Harris administration. They’d be wise not to follow in the footsteps of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the U.S., who, instead of prosecuting the Confederate traitors, allowed them to resume their normal lives post-Civil War. Biden has the opportunity — no, the responsibility — to hold these domestic terrorists accountable for their rebellion to the fullest extent of the law. That law, as written in the U.S. Code, states:
Whoever incites, sets on foot, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.18 U.S. Code § 2383 – Rebellion or insurrection
Sounds pretty cut and dry to us.
Main Image: Alex Gakos / Shutterstock.com