Reflecting on the Capitol riot: healing is only possible with accountability and civil discourse


Photo Courtesy of Michael Reeves

In a week since the riot at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, the House of Representatives has officially voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time. Reflecting on the events, The Dispatch believes that the conflicts at our nation’s core must be addressed so healing can finally begin.

Maya Amador, Commentary Editor

The insurrection in the U.S. Capitol was like a car crash you saw coming from a mile away, or in this case four years away. Many predicted and warned of the fascist, violent, and duplicitous rhetoric that Donald Trump still uses to this day. 

These warnings mostly came from people of color and other minority groups worried about their livelihood under Trump’s America. Yet White America wondered: how bad could it really be? 

After thousands of kids were separated from their families at the border, a failed pandemic response resulting in over 300,000 deaths, and now an admitted siege of the U.S. Capitol, more Americans now realize the state of our country. 

This is America. No matter how many politicians try to say this isn’t who we are, the actions of those at the Capitol continue to speak louder. 

The immediate action that needs to be taken is the impeachment of Trump along with holding all Republicans accountable who encouraged and used Trump’s incendiary and reactionary rhetoric. 

One of the most terrifying parts of last Wednesday’s events was how the Trump supporters at the Capitol are not a minority in society. They were lawyers and real estate agents, retired U.S. military, and even some elected officials, people with enough money to take off work in the middle of the week and fly to D.C. 

In the last four years, it is almost a regular occurrence to notice a family member on Facebook post an outrageous conspiracy theory seemingly out of nowhere or a post warning about the communist threat that the Biden administration poses. While these instances might seem harmless at first, they can lead to events we saw on Wednesday and worse. 

If you’re being constantly fed lies about how the election was stolen and you are the only real patriot who cares, it’s not a surprise some felt the need to try to steal back the election by storming the Capitol. 

Impeachment and the 14th amendment are the correct course of action moving forward. Impeachment, with a disqualification vote, will ensure Trump cannot run again in future elections and the 14th amendment will remove those in congress who also incited the insurrection such as Senator Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley.  

We must also do our part in our everyday lives to challenge this type of behavior from Republicans. The alt-right pipeline thrives in isolation so be sure to keep in touch with your family members for their safety, let them know you are there for them. Dismantling the damage the Trump administration inflicted feels almost impossible, but we must act now even in his last week in office.