There is no Equivalency

Five days have passed since insurrectionists attacked the Capitol of the United States in an effort to stage a coup and reverse the results of one of the most secure, free, and fair elections in the history of this country. The seditionists failed attempt to overthrow our government was inspired by lies and misinformation about the legitimacy of last year’s presidential election and incited by inflammatory words that President Trump spoke at a rally immediately before the siege on the Capitol.

In the days since the attack a concerted effort has emerged from Right-wing media and elected representatives, who were complicit in the lie that inspired many of the rioters to attack the Capitol, to defend and somehow justify the rioters actions. In their attempts at justification, the Right has tried to equate the seditious actions of those rioters who attacked the heart of American democracy with the Black Lives Matter protestors who took to the streets of America demanding racial justice.

Let me be clear: there is no equivalency between the two.

There is simply no way to equate the mob of privileged, primarily white, anarchic agitators incited by the President and driven by some false illusion of victimhood storming the Capitol of the United States by force and the overwhelmingly peaceful protests of a diverse cross-section of Americans who marched in the name of racial justice. The former, fighting to overturn the free will of the American people through the most undemocratic of means in defense of an indefensible man whose bruised ego couldn’t accept the reality that he lost, and the latter, marching and protesting for their LITERAL LIVES.

There is no equivalency.

None whatsoever.

Don’t be gaslighted.

Do not let anyone tell you anything different.

Anyone who attempts to equate the two, who tries to dismiss the actions of those who desecrated our most sacred house of democracy in the most clear act of insurrection and sedition this country has seen in over a century as anything less than the unlawful actions for what they were – are quite simply ignorant, on the wrong side of history, and in denial of reality.

Those who stormed the Capitol Wednesday did so in defense of a singular man, not democracy, not our lives, not our rights, and damn sure not the United State of America. They carried out this insurrection to show their full measure of fealty to a narcissistic man who has never valued them as anything more than pawns in pursuit of his own interests. While they were literally willing to die, as some did, for their chosen leader, he showed no such deference for them, even going so far as to insult them for looking “low class” while carrying out a domestic terrorist attack against the United States of America in his name.

What a sad day it is in America when not only do we see the Capitol overrun by terrorists incited by the President of the United States, but then see people attempt to equate their actions as somehow equivalent to those of Black Lives Matter protestors who were literally marching – and not to mention arrested, beat, gassed, degraded, demonized, and killed – for their lives. True patriots who have every right to feel legitimately aggrieved that were protesting so that this country, that has never shown the same love to those protesting as they have for it, might finally live up to the values upon which it was founded.

What a sad day in America.

I’m still heartbroken and outraged.

Four days later, I am still heartbroken for America, and while my tears of rage have dried I am no less angry with what happened to a place I once knew well.

Thirteen years ago I served as an intern in Senator Carl Levin’s DC offices. It was the honor of my life to spend a summer working, unpaid, for the people of the United States of America at the very heart of American democracy. I answered phones. I responded to constituent mail. I assisted in writing floor statements. I helped do legislative research. I attended hearings. I did whatever Senator Levin’s staff asked me to do, and I did it with great joy, pride in my heart, and the highest amount of reverence for the institution I worked in.

The last thing I was responsible for was giving tours of the Capitol for constituents who were visiting from Michigan. Every tour I gave felt like I was walking in a dream. Every step I took, every word I spoke about the hallowed halls in which I walked, every breath I breathed – all of it – filled me with such pride for having the noble honor to share this sacred house of American democracy with citizens who came to see where our nation’s legislators wrote the laws that bind this nation, a nation of laws – of, by, and for the people.

Needless to say, as I watched anarchists storm the Capitol, climb its edifice, and smash its windows – I was heartbroken.

Anyone that truly loves America, who values our democracy, who believes in the promise and the ideals that America was founded upon – life, liberty, equality, justice – anyone who believes in those things, who wants to pass along these sacred blessings of democracy to your children and to future generations – you should be heartbroken and outraged today as well.

Four days have now passed and the President still has not acknowledged or apologized for the roll he played in this insurrection nor even ordered that the flag that flies above the White House be lowered in honor of the Capitol Hill police officer who died in its defense.

Think about that for a second.

Think about that and tell me how, as an American, you cannot be outraged.

Maybe your pain and anger is not as acute as mine not having had the opportunity to walk those halls as regularly as I once did –  the very same halls that these anarchists degraded with their very presence and destructed with their maniacal actions on Wednesday – but you should be upset and outraged as well because this is your country and that is your Capitol too.

There is a place for protest that is peaceful and protected by our Constitution and debate that is civil and an essential part of democracy, but what happened on a day that will live until eternity in infamy is anything but peaceful or essential.

May god bless the United States of America