Witnessing & Digesting History: An Attack On The U.S. Capitol



Painting by Anna Schrader

Anna Schrader, Reporter / Photographer

The recent tragedies at the US Capitol this past week have made me do a lot of thinking- in fact, probably too much thinking for my own good. I find myself asking questions like, “Is this real?” and “How are we just letting this happen?” Seeing videos and photos across social media of the storming of a government building and then thinking back to  the Black Lives Matter protests, I can’t help but compare and contrast the two. Both are groups of strong, opinionated voices, yet they are fighting for extremely different causes. Empathizing for a group of people who believe so strongly in a particular cause comes very easily, but not when the cause completely mocks our government, not to mention uses white privilege and a lack of edicate to fulfill a personal agenda. The fact of the matter is that this group of Trump supporters were not scared for their life when they marched into a building full of officers and police personnel. Seeing a group of Trump supporters steal from and invade a government building, compared to seeing a group of people of color who are literally fighting for their rights to live without fear of the oppressors, shows me the complete disregard for the racism and oppression in our country at the moment.


As I watched the senators cast their votes, I sat with more questions. “Do they realize the blatant disrespect these people are causing?” and “Why do I feel violated?” I tried my best to organize my thoughts in the piece I painted above, but am still left with a wandering mind, like many of us are. The double standards that I am seeing are leaving me appalled. Before Trump’s ban on social media, he tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in response to the protests in Minneapolis back in May, while he tweeted “We love you. You’re very special,” in response to the domestic terrorism that took place at the Capitol building earlier this week. This immediately brought sadness to heart when I saw our president support a mob of angry people that took down the American flag on the Capitol building and replace it with a Trump flag instead. Yet, I saw no sympathy when officers were shooting and tear gassing innocent protesters who are fighting for basic human rights. 


With these questions and many more, racing through our minds, I hope we all are able to come to terms with what has happened. We witnessed history, but we can’t change the past. We must take this experience and grow from it, for the better of every human in the United States.