• Jae

The Day After

We have a new government today. On November 3rd, 2020 Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris won the popular vote by more than 7 million votes, the electoral college by 74 votes, in over 60 court cases, and then finally certified in the wee hours of today. Georgia held a Senate run-off vote in which Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock took back the Democratic race by the skin of their teeth making Kamala Harris the tie-breaker in a 50-50 Senate. In 13 days, our new government will take on the harrowing task of healing and rebuilding our country.

Yesterday, during the electoral vote certification process at the Capitol, we watched in horror as thugs, incited to riot by the sitting President of the United States, violently stormed the Capitol, breached the pathetic security, desecrated the halls of democracy with vandalism and caused mayhem everywhere they trod. In the melee, four people lost their lives; 1 by gunshot, 3 by a medical emergency, 14 police were injured and it felt as though our nation was suffering a death by a thousand cuts as we watched white supremacists with Confederate flags swarm through the Capitol unimpeded. They were not pepper-sprayed, gassed, tased, or shot for their acts of insurrection. Rather, they roamed freely, searching out frightened staffers and officials who were sheltered in place, took videos, photos, and selfies, rummaged through desks. Hours into the riot, the sitting President made and published a video telling his hateful base that the election was fraudulent and stolen, that he loved them, that they were special people, and to go home. But they continued to hold the Capitol hostage and they succeeded in derailing the electoral vote certification for hours until the National Guard and other police organizations managed to round them up, push them out and disperse the crowds. I saw videos and pictures of the police opening barricades, calmly stepping out of the way of rioters, holding the hand of one woman walking down the outside stairs of the Capitol building, taking selfie pictures with unlawful thugs. Only 52 out of the thousands of rioters were arrested. There was an obviously stark difference in the way these violent rioters were treated compared to how peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters against police brutality have been treated in the past.

I can only imagine that this attempted coup was applauded vigorously by our enemies and made our allies cringe in shame.

As I sat and watched the whole day play out on streaming live video, I was aware that my body was tense, my mind alert to impending danger. I had the same response during the 9/11 attacks on New York in 2001. I wanted to be surrounded by my loved ones. But they were at work or scattered around the country. I was alone in the house with Poppy.

We are still in the middle of a devastating pandemic that is killing thousands by the day.

My Auntie Sarah died yesterday.

But we have a new government today.

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