Opinion: Terrorists At The Capitol: An Attempted Coup?


People at the Capitol waving Trump flags in support of the ex-President’s claims. Also seen is a Confederate flag being held by a man in a Trump beanie. Photo courtesy of: NBC News

On January 6th, 2020, the United States Congress was stormed by supporters of former President Donald Trump. They marched to the United States Capitol after attending the Save America Rally. Trump called for action as he believes that the election was fraudulent and stolen from him. This resulted in 5 deaths and a lockdown to protect the representatives inside who were counting the electoral college votes. 

During the summer of 2020, many people began to protest due to the amount of police brutality that was occurring at the time. People depicted them as looters and Trump described them as “thugs.”  Action was immediately taken against those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and they were even stopped for peaceful protests and vigils. 

If these protesters who were simply fighting for human rights had been white, they would not have been persisted and depicted the way they were on media outlets. Since they were people of color, they were dehumanized by the media and were treated with much more violence than the terrorists who stormed the Capitol.

Yes, they were terrorists. To be more exact, domestic terrorists. As defined by Merriam-Webster, terrorism is “the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.” Their goal, when raiding, was to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential win. They used violence as means to scare representatives and then successfully enter the building. Not to mention, raiding a federal building is a crime and very much illegal. These supporters were attempting a coup, but luckily, were unsuccessful. 

“To start, I never thought I would be teaching about an attempted coup in the United States! I think what President Trump did in encouraging his supporters in a way that led to the takeover of the Capitol building is both un-American and disgraceful. His supporters who stormed the Capitol, in my opinion, are domestic terrorists. They damaged property, killed a federal police officer, and tried to stop Congress from doing their Constitutional duty.  In my opinion, these violent, illegal, and unconstitutional actions were encouraged by President Trump’s big lie about the election being stolen from him.  As you know, all the facts and evidence show that the election was free and fair and won by Joe Biden. President Trump told this lie to his supporters, encouraged them to march to the capitol, and sent them off with a provocative speech. He lit the match and his supporters after being fired-up caused death and destruction in our Capitol. Trump is responsible for this American tragedy in my opinion,” said Mr. Decker, AP Government, Economics, and AVID teacher.

This raid was a direct threat to American democracy. Trump and his supporters believe that they are the most patriotic people yet tried to go against the foundation of this country. American democracy is something they claim to be prideful of but didn’t trust it when their candidate lost. 

In a video statement, Trump told his followers that he loved them and called them special. He treated his grown adult supporters like babies and had no opposition to their actions. Again, when protests were occurring last summer, he criticized and threatened those who marched. The stark difference between the two is astounding and the blatant racism is clearly seen.

This also occurred as a pandemic still spreads throughout the country.