More Questions than Answers

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By Eliza Behrke, Staff Writer

As I, along with the rest of America, watched history traipse its sloppy, privilege-ridden path through the Capitol, I couldn’t help but wonder how it will be taught to our children and grandchildren in their history curriculums. Will those that died in their blatant attempt to stage a coup d’etat be painted as martyrs? Will it be dismissed as simply a protest, a demonstration of the civil liberties we’re told we’re so lucky to have? Will it be known as the start of something larger, the match that begins a forest fire?

However this riot is spun by historians and school curriculums alike, we can’t deny that it was just that: a riot. Doing so and downplaying it as a protest would mean the degradation of the principle America claims to value and continues to wield above other countries as absolute proof that we are undoubtedly superior to them– our democracy. After all, what country can claim to be superior to the United States of America when we obviously have fair, constitutional elections that are unanimously accepted by the population and president alike? 

I will never cease to be baffled by the fact that this event was hidden in plain sight, and that our country ultimately allowed it to happen. And no, I’m not talking about the fact that the march itself was premeditated, nor am I referring to the lack of preparation on the part of the government to defend the Capitol. I’m talking about the four years that led up to this. The fact that people felt emboldened to put their bigotry on display on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. The impeachment, and the lack of removal from office that ensued. The refusal to accept the results of an election simply because our president didn’t have a victory handed to him on a silver platter. We looked at our country’s dark and racist past and we swore, never again. What is this is again? What if it never stopped? I saw Nazi and Confederate flags on live television yesterday. The president didn’t make them this way, he only made them feel comfortable enough to share what was already there. Comfortable enough to fly those flags in public and still have the ignorance to call themselves heroic. And that should be terrifying.

Featured Photo: Stephanie Keith, Reuters