They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire. ” When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4
Since before I was born, Americans have been telling the world what democracy is, what democracy looks like, and how democracy is established.
On January 6, 2021 insurgents who are supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the Capital Building, totting guns, smashing windows, scaling walls, forcing elected officials scurrying into secured areas on the Capital Campus; actions that stunned the world as protestors freely and arrogantly roamed the halls and rooms of the Congress, carrying Confederate flags, US flags with Trump’s picture in the middle.
This is short of nothing but an attempted coup that left four people dead: one through gunshot wound, and three from other medical causes.
Apart from about 14 arrests, no protestor was stopped, the mayhem continued for hours as police looked, overwhelmed until the National Guard, ordered by Vice President Mike Pence, came to smoke out the protestors out of the building and secure it for the Congress to continue their meeting.
The US has been embroiled in one protest after another, especially those staged by African Americans and sympathizers that have been protesting the shooting by white law enforcement officers of unarmed black men. At each protest police shot at black protestors first, asked questions later.
Today’s insurgence on the Congress, questions are looming as people vandalized the Capital Buildings. The first is where and why did the police not fire a single shot at the protestors? Why did the police secure the building as the protestors stormed the building? The warning whistle was made through the President, who after losing the November 2020 Presidential elections, claimed repeatedly that he won the elections. (Biden got 306 electoral votes against Trump’s 232). Instead of conceding defeat, he wiled his base of supporters and earlier called on supporters to walk to the Capital.
At the time Trump was inciting and encouraging the coup on his behalf, both houses of the Congress (House and the Senate) were receiving and confirming electoral votes of the Biden-Harris win.
There is no doubt that the protesters converged on the Capital to stop the confirmation, ironically presided by Vice President Pence.
President Trump’s complicity and acquiescence in the US Capital siege coupled with the docile, kid-glove handling of the insurgents, thugs, and vandals by the Capital police, was deplorable and has been condemned by both Republicans and Democrats.
There are scenes of police taking selfies with the rioters as they staged the insurrection in the Capitol Building to prevent the installing of Joe Biden.
This was an act of domestic terrorism, an attempted coup, it was a national security issue. It was a scene that is prevalent in fragile democracies and countries ruled by dictators.
But American democratic morality and decency were laid bare, encased in hypocrisy in the kid-glove treatment of the armed rioters. In the past 11 months, protestors in the black lives matter were treated brutally treated, beaten, teargassed, and many were fatally shot again and again.
It is more than 12 hours since the insurgence of the nation’s capital of the lead country of the democratic world; but the silence is deafening. Because the President is the agitator of the insurgency, there has been no press conference with a crowded stage that in past has included the police chief, the FBI, the CIA, a Communication Director, and the truckload of officials that address the nation, briefing them of what had happened, how they learned about the event, what they did to quell the violence, and what further developments are expected to take place.
Who is running this circus? What happened with intelligence gathering and security of national events of this nature? Since the coup attempt, the President-elect Biden spoke to the nation calling on the rioters to stop their siege of Congress, then turned on President Trump to talk to his supporters.
But on Wednesday, the lead country of Western democracy, witnessed the hoodlums, many of them totting guns, temporary take-over of its lawmakers’ building that put at risk the country’s vice president, the speaker, and Senate leader, Senate, and congresspeople.
The insurrection is domestic terrorism, an insurrection, and frankly an attack on democracy. It was total anarchy, chaos, and a scene that Americans see elsewhere, not America.
Amidst the chaos and mayhem, however, some good, some light shone on America: the Democratic Party took control of the Senate.
This was achieved when the Democratic Party candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff won the run-off senate elections that took place on January 5, 2021. Thus with the control of the Congress, it can pass laws, confirm Biden’s cabinet picks.
At 3:33 AM on January 7, 2021, the joint session of Congress, chaired by Vice President Pence, confirmed Joe Biden as duly elected president of the United States. The tally was Biden 271 and trump at 224. Votes were accepted state by state until Biden got 306 and Trump got 232.
This is what democracy looks like.