One Year Later: Reflecting on the Capitol Attack



On January 6, 2021, rioters gathered at the capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Jordan Brownhill, Social Chair

In an extremely bipartisan country, politics are guaranteed to be controversial and lead to drastic actions. They can tear families and friends apart and influence decisions. But few people in the United States could have seen the events of January 6, 2021 coming.

A group of rioters took to the capitol building, where government officials were actively working to certify the 2020 presidential election. The riots were in response to the results of that election, in which Donald Trump lost re-election and Joe Biden was appointed. Many people, including former President Trump, believed that the reason for this loss was election fraud, and that the votes needed to be recounted.

As tensions surrounding the election rose greatly, Trump egged on his supporters in their outrage. Several of his Tweets contained mentions of a “Stop the Steal” protest taking place on January 6 at the capitol.

Looking back, I believed that this would be the event that caused people to see Trump as I saw him; an unintelligent and selfish man who cared only about adding a new trophy to his shelf and not at all about improving the state of our country.

I was wrong. That night, as I sifted through social media posts regarding the events, I was shocked by the amount of support I saw for the rioters. While many posts pointed out the significance of how wrong those actions were, there were also many that supported Trump and felt that the crimes committed on January 6 were justified.

What shocked me most was that those in support of Trump and his mob used the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in the summer of 2020 to argue their point. It stunned me that people believed the capitol riot to be even in the same realm as those protests. The fact that some people were so ignorant as to think that raiding the capitol in a violent attempt to disrupt the certification of the election could possibly be compared to people protesting to help marginalized groups find equality in their own country. Especially considering the fact that the “Stop the Steal” riot was based solely on false information spread by a person in authority.

An important symbol of American government, the capitol building will never be viewed the same. (Jordan Brownhill)

After having a full year to process the events of January 6, I am once again struck by the importance of learning from our history. The events that took place last year should never have happened. They were a result of a leader who was working only to benefit himself, no matter what it cost the country.

The only good thing that could come from the capitol attack is that we as a country have the opportunity to move forward and grow from this event. Allowing anyone in a place of authority to consistently make false claims based on biased or incorrect information leads to disaster for the country. That level of negligence gives people false ideas about how to deal with our country’s greatest struggles. My greatest hope is that the events that occurred one year ago today will lead Americans to be mindful of the people that we put in positions of power.