A full year post-insurrection and D.C is, for the most part, unchanged. On January 6, 2021, a New Year’s resolution of peace was not fulfilled. A mob of angry protesters entered the Capitol, as cCongress certified that the election was, in fact, not fraudulent. Running into the Capitol brandishing fur hats, weaponry, and even various countries’ flags, the mob infiltrated a building which represents American democracy, using violence to avenge the voting system.
My first thoughts were apallment. How could a president test his loyal followers’ limits like this? How could roughly 2,500 people succumb to mob mentality to this extreme? Why did this many people not trust the country that they state to love? How did this campaign of election fraudulence intervene with the peaceful transfer of power that this country was built upon?
I vividly remember the following day opening each Zoom link, and instead of the planned class, we discussed the events of the day prior. What led to the insurrection, which of us lived on Capitol Hill, and how the riots made us feel. I was not necessarily scared that the mob would move it’s way up Connecticut Avenue and knock my door down, but it was still unnerving how a relatively small group were able to get into the building which essentially houses American democracy. The most jarring image of the day was the Confederate flag being flown in the United States Capitol, for the first time ever.
No matter who you believe incited the events of January 6th, or how they began, one thing is certain: in the coming years, we need to protect our democracy by protecting voting rights. In the past year, hundreds of bills have been proposed and roughly three-dozen laws have been passed that attempt to obstruct democracy. These bills include suggestions of making it easier for state officials to reject the votes of their citizens if they dislike the outcome, or threaten prison time to election officials for performing human errors. Many of these laws are popular in swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia. We must be made aware of the battleground of legislature regarding democracy that was created in the wake of January 6th, 2021.