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The Events of January 6, 2021, will Live in Infamy

Kirk Bangstad

I’m writing about what I saw yesterday on the news in Washington D.C., because it will be a day that will live in infamy in our student’s history books, and I want to make sure I remember it all.

I saw members of congress praying for their lives while barricaded inside their Capitol.  

I saw armed white men with KKK tattoos looting the capital building.

I saw almost no police presence early on to stop what was going on.

I saw a very weak, idiotic, but very real insurrection against my country, the United States of America.

I’ve since read that this was the most severe intrusion of the Capitol since the War of 1812, when the British burned it down.

I watched this all happen at a hotel in Costa Rica, which was surreal because there were a bunch of Americans glued to the TV in disbelief, while others were milling about, oblivious to the utter shame we all had for our country.

I woke up this morning, and before getting ready to fly back to Wisconsin, felt the need to make sense of it all.

The first question that kept coming into my head was “How, in our nation’s capital, where we seemingly MUST have a HUGE ability to defend ourselves, was this allowed to happen?”  and the obvious question that came next was “After all the heavy-handed police tactics used against the Black Lives Matter protests all summer long, why did the police seemingly not do anything to these people attacking the heart of our country?”

It seems there was a calculated decision to treat the mob with kid gloves in order to not add fuel to their fire.  The rationale goes that had there been scenes of police violence against these people, many of whom were armed, it would give like-minded cultists a reason to take up more arms and engage in further violence.

I know that’s one way to look at it, and a more peaceful one, but I can’t help but be enraged that these, and I’ll say it with every ounce of my soul, “deplorables,” didn’t meet swift and painful punishment for what they did.

And I’m sure every peaceful BLM protester that wound up in the hospital bloodied by heavy-handed police retaliation this summer must be more enraged than me.

The second question I have is more existential, because after having to evacuate their own Capitol due to an insurrection, caused by our own president, predicated on total lies, how could we we STILL have had U.S. Senators and Congressmen vote against a peaceful transition of power to President-Elect Biden?

I’m envisioning my Congressman and Senator, Tom Tiffany and Ron Johnson, cowering somewhere in a cloakroom as directed by capital police, wondering if some pseudo-militia white supremacist might accidentally shoot them in a chaotic mob scene, but then voting hours later to reward these same people for their treasonous actions.


My stomach hurts writing that last sentence.

I cried in frustration while watching TV yesterday, after crying tears of joy hours earlier when learning that Ossoff and Warnock both won their elections in Georgia and Mitch McConnel would no longer have a stranglehold on our legislature.

Today, I’m coming back to an America I no longer know; a weak America brought to its knees by a failed political party.

We are seemingly very close to losing our democratic republic entirely, but there’s a ray of hope because JUST ENOUGH voters have seen through the lies and have handed power back to decent grown ups.

I pray we can get stronger and my country can heal.

Written by Kirk Bangstad on 01/07/21

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