Understanding the Jan 6 Riot on Congress in Context
If you are unsettled and upset, you're not alone. You might be angry or afraid. All of these responses are appropriate. Give yourself time to process your feelings. Make self care a priority. We are living in dangerous times and pretending we can go back to normal is counterproductive.
What we saw in Washington, D.C. yesterday was an attempted coup enabled by inherent racism. When Black Lives Matter held protests in Washington this summer, authorities prepared by calling out the National Guard. When Native Americans were trying to protect the water at Standing Rock, they were met with excessive force.
Now contrast those responses and images with what happened yesterday, when police removed barricades to allow rioters into the capitol. Another photo trending on Twitter was one of a rioter taking a selfie with a police office.
Our colleagues at New Jersey Center for Non-Profits summarized it well, " Yesterday's events were the culmination of years of enforced inequality, suppression, and differing sets of expectations of behavior for different racial, ethnic, and religious groups. Hard work lies ahead to preserve and strengthen our democracy, to ensure accountability, to confront and dismantle the racial disparities and white supremacy that have culminated in this tragedy."
The problem is not just over there. In New Mexico yesterday, the state capitol was evacuated as a large group of rioters gathered outside.
There is a lot to process, take time, practice self care, and don't shy away. Facing our deepest, most disturbing truths is less painful than trying to out run them.