Nigeria? Somalia? The Hunger Games? Storming the Capitol in any of these sounds plausible, but not in the United States of America. A beacon of democracy for over 200 years, but has their shining light on the world now dimmed?
From the beginning, Trump’s divisiveness among the people has been more than notable, and his delusional decisions have cost lives, families and homes. The wall, child cages, a placid response to Neo-Nazis rallies. All inspiring fear and disbelief into those living at the decent end of society.
Since his legitimate defeat on 6 November, Trump has been adding fuel to the fire of false claims with no apparent regard for consequences. The fire finally exploded on 6 January with an angry mob marching to the Capitol Building and forcing entrance in his name and at his word. They breached the security ridiculously easily and swarmed unpredictably and aggressively, forcing ministers, officials, and journalists to barricade themselves for protection. FIve people died.
The following day, a rather subdued Trump begrudgingly condemned the “heinous attack”, saying to those involved “you do not represent our country”. But did he really have a choice? His cabinet was dissolving before his eyes and he faces the very real possibility of removal from office.
One can’t help but compare the images of this day to those of the Black Lives Matter Protests outside the Capitol Building during the summer. After the death of George Floyd, rows of white officers wore modern day armour, all too willing to antagonise black protestors. Whereas a stark comparison shows a black police officer with minimal protective equipment hounded by a pack of white rioters in the Capitol Building on 6 January. Not only this, but pictures show the ludicrous “care” with which the white rioters were treated by the overwhelmingly white police force. Compare this with the violence, tear gas and arrests that BLM protestors were met with in May 2020. ‘Double standards’ is the term that springs readily to mind.
In response to the carnage, leaders around the world have blamed Trump for the direct result of his words. Boris Johnson said, “I unreservedly condemn encouraging people to behave in the disgraceful way that they did in the Capitol”. Not only this, but Trump’s Twitter diary has had its final entry as he is permanently suspended from the social media giant along with Facebook and Instagram. A small price to pay.
Post-chaos interviews with participants of the mob highlight an overwhelming and totally misjudged sense of pride despite the world watching with scornful eyes. But some may get their comeuppance, as the FBI is now appealing to the public to assist them in identifying particular mob members to make arrests. Others are finding themselves jobless as their employers take necessary and justified action. Let’s hope that remorse devours their satisfaction over the coming years.
6 January has left a Trump coloured stain on the United States of America. The question is whether that stain is red or orange?