Most Americans believe the events at the Capitol on January 6th were not an example of who we are. It was unacceptable and a horrible display for the world to see. Both left and right feel it was an attack on our Democracy. Many believe it crossed the line of protest and riot into domestic terrorism, with a leader that lit the match. The upcoming inauguration brings with it an unnerving fear seldom experienced in our country, and make no mistake, the world is watching.
Why it happened
What is it that made people who view themselves as patriotic, think that storming the Capitol was not only acceptable, but their duty to take action to stand up for their country? People from all statures around the country are being tracked down and arrested for taking part. There has been an observation that had it been protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement, it would have gone a different way. Indeed, it would have. The reason it was not handled the same way however, was not because they were white, but because too many in control of the actions needed to stop it, believed themselves that the election was stolen. A belief that has been shot down in multiple courts, even those with conservative judges. The facts have spoken. Our leaders need to accept that and voice it, in order to lead. The denial of that has proven to lead to chaos that can literally crumble our democracy as a whole.
What’s behind our democracy
The split in our country is as deep as the Grand Canyon and large enough to call it a great divide. The 2016 election was one that left one side stating “not my president”. Investigations were launched concerning the process and results. We were divided, yes, but we did not crumble. The other side said “we’ll show you how it’s done”. Their hopes were of making America great. Do you believe the last four years have been a good example of what you envisioned it would become? Now it is the other side coming about this week. They are now saying “let us show you what we can do”. Do they not have the same right to show you? That is simply how democracy works.
Who’s voice do we need
Now more than ever we need the right, especially Trump supporters, to stand up and lead with an example as a united nation to say let’s work together. You are the ones that will be listened to. You are the ones whose voice of calm can stop the storm that is brewing in our country. The extremists who descended on our Capitol will not listen to anything the left has to say. But you, can make a difference and we need you to do just that.
Show the world the integrity and character you pride yourself on, that we can work together, left and right; for there is no better way to eliminate your enemy then to make them your friend. We need you to show just what being The United States of America really means.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Today is a holiday of our making to celebrate one of the greatest leaders our country has produced. His voice still echoes through our land in quotes with dreams for a better future. “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Many years later, although we are not there yet, we have come far enough to put a black man as president that the world respected as a great leader (whether you agree or not) for not just one term, but both he was limited to hold. We still have a long way to go to fulfill our pledge of justice for all, but we have taken steps in that direction.
For those waving your confederate flags and feeling a spark of pride in the label white supremacist, make no mistake – we will not be going back. You have been defeated before and your attempt to create a civil war is simply treason, not patriotic. You need to examine who and what you are willing to sacrifice because if nothing else, history shows a civil war brings suffering to the majority of the country and brings about devastating destruction. That is not the vision of a great America.
The World is watching
The world is watching what we do next and this goes way beyond politics to the very core of what we are about. What will your actions say about the legacy you leave behind? Isn’t the duty of a true American to show we can come together united? We need to unite today rather than crumble tomorrow. John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country”. What is your message for your country going to be?
Today we take note of a dream. Let’s keep working on that instead of crumbling tomorrow. You matter. Make your example count. For together we stand, divided we fall.
Written By Melody Belliveau