A Personal Perspective on the Attack on Our Capitol

A Personal Perspective on the Attack on Our Capitol

Samantha Deras

 

 

I often pride myself on being an American citizen with many freedoms, as I know that many individuals dream of having the life I do. However, this pride has been slowly slipping away during these past few months as our country has steadily become more divided and hostile towards each other. It’s hard for me to understand that I have lived through an intense election, an uproar of social movements, two impeachment hearings for one president, a pandemic, and an assault on our capitol. All by my junior year of high school. 

 

On the 6th of January, I witnessed pro-trump individuals start off as protesters, exercising their right to free speech, only to turn into violent rioters who unlawfully swarmed a building so important to the political identity of our country. They assaulted police officers and dangerously climbed the cement walls to get entry into the building. They broke windows and damaged property, in fact, they stole property. Many of them refused to wear masks in this massive crowd, despite the pandemic seeing another big spike. To see someone wave a Confederate flag in the building after so many people died to never see that flag in our capitol is shocking. These individuals spilled blood in this building.

 

I’ve seen many people, including the media, call these individuals patriots and protesters. A patriot is defined as “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors,” and a protester is defined as “a person who publicly demonstrates strong objection to something; often peacefully.” 

 

When BLM protesters took to the streets in grief, yearning for change, they were called “thugs” by the media and by our very president. Our government was made to believe that they were direct threats to our nation, so they flooded the streets with militants who utilized excessive force and cruel weapons to silence these protesters. This energy was nowhere to be found on the day our capital was attacked.

 

The freedom to protest is one that should not be taken for granted solely because so much change can happen and so many voices can be heard through the act of peaceful protest. Those who stormed the capitol uninvited jeopardized the peace of our country and left its citizens frightened and fragile. Therefore, are they truly deserving of the title of patriots and protesters?

 

Furthermore, the powerful tools of social media allowed our president to directly influence these individuals to infiltrate the capitol grounds, serving as a leader to these individuals in the performance of their attack. To think that a platform meant for us to communicate and come together actually drove us further apart and played an important role in this disaster is truly sickening. 

 

The events that unfolded at our nation’s capital last week had my jaw to the floor and my heart in pieces. It’s distressing to see our country that was once the most powerful nation in the world so profoundly wounded right now. My heart truly hurts for America. As the big events of next week are approaching, I have such big hopes for this country. I hope we can all reunite as a whole once again and heal these scars. 

 

As the icon, Jimi Hendrix once said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”