While it will take some time to fully digest the scope of what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, we can’t deny that it was a very moving situation.
I may not agree with those who took part in the events of that fateful day, but I think there is much to be learned and understood in the aftermath that can be used in a positive way.
When I saw the images of people in the House and Senate hunkering down and fearful of what could happen in those moments of unrest and attack, I thought to myself, “Maybe this will crack the bubble they live in and they will finally understand the reality of what’s happening in the country.”
Maybe this situation will finally get both parties to understand that unity is the only way forward and that their job is to work together. After all, there’s nothing like an advancing mob wielding pitchforks and guns to give one pause to reconsider their actions.
My thoughts might sound cruel and callous, but the truth is that pretty much everyone in this country is just as angry as those who stormed the Capitol that day. We’re just angry and upset for different reasons.
Different rules for different people, depending on one’s wealth and/or race. The 1% vs the 99%. The #MeToo movement. There is no shortage of fuel for the fires of anger.
It seems this country is also hindered by ghosts of the Civil War. Certain groups are still seeking redemption, still seeking to rise again and reclaim a perceived right to own or control other human beings and declare the ultimate superiority of a single race.
I’m sure there are people who would laugh at the notion that we are still being influenced by slavery, but these last four years have revealed that the essence of slavery is woven into the fabric of this country and our democracy, and this is what needs to change.
I believe the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed the situation beautifully with her quote, “I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is to take their feet off our necks.” I think most people can relate to that concept.
When Congress reconvened after the violent events of Jan. 6 to certify the election results, we heard several members from both parties give heartfelt, emotional speeches and commentary regarding the situation. Those individuals were suddenly inspired to make a stand, a strong stand where they had previously been silent or ambivalent.
These members of Congress made a choice, a decision and discovered what I like to call “the line.” The line is that key point when one realizes things have gone too far or have become too unhealthy and an adjustment must be made.
We often don’t know where that line is until it’s breached, as it was that day. I believe it was an inner depth of caring that ignited in certain members of Congress during those dark, uncertain moments, giving them a fiery motivation to speak their heart.
Not everyone who came out of those tunnels or from under their desks was changed by the events of that day, but I was impressed by those who did. It gave me hope that a better government is possible.
The breach at the Capitol got people’s attention, and it shook things up that perhaps needed shaking.
Each of us has a collective choice to make so that as a country we can move forward. The time for fence-sitting is over.
Will we give up the old ideals of individual freedom for the higher ideal of a collective freedom where we stop trying to put our feet on each other’s necks?
Doing the same things over and over again while expecting different results won’t get us there. Trying to find solutions to our modern problems through the eyes of people who have been dead for 200 years is not the way to go.
We need a new vision for this country, something we have not seen before. We need to look forward to what is possible, just as those who wrote the Constitution did.
They had a vision of Freedom, but that vision needs updating. It’s time that we reorganize and repurpose what they started to meet the needs of people living today.
As Joe Biden begins his journey as the next president and the country wades into this new year of 2021, I, for one, am supporting his and Kamala’s vision of healing and unity.