It is January 6, 2021. What a shameful day for America. Traitors and terrorists invaded the Capitol while the entire Congress had gathered there to certify electoral votes. They disrupted proceedings, vandalized the building, and threatened a coup. As so many people said, this day will be remembered by the young generation the way many of us will never forget 9/11 — America was attacked today. By domestic terrorists.
I am angry today. And also very sad. But frankly, I am more angry than sad. I am angry at all the people who elected a racist, sexist, fascist President in the first place. I am angry at all those who enabled this President and the crooks he employed every step of the way. I am angry at all those even in my own circles who did ‘both sides’ on otherwise crystal-clear, black-and-white issues; who didn’t speak up for what was right because falsehood benefited them in some ways; and who continued to turn a blind eye while right-wing hysteria poisoned our society.
I know and have faith that democracy will win in the end. And these hooligans will be defeated and hopefully prosecuted. And their enablers, including those now occupying some of highest offices in our country, will be reduced to insignificant dust inside history books. But still, events of today put a stain on our country’s respect and status around the world, dimmed the lights in the ‘shining city upon a hill’, and it was an attempt to divide, deceive, and destroy us.
There are many people I know who try hard to stay away from politics, esp the rancorous version that now exists online due to the ways in which social media has been used to fan hatred, extremism, and radicalization. Some do it because they don’t want to deal with the associated stress. Some do it because of convenience in their work lives. And some do it because they are just tired of fighting. But today was not just about politics. Our ideals were attacked, and sacrifices of generations before us, and of men and women in uniform across the globe, were trampled upon.
I am a father, and today I saw fear in my kids’ eyes as they watched events in D.C unfold on television. They saw elected representatives falling to the ground and taking shelter, their offices raided, sacred halls of Congress vandalized, and a woman shot with blood pouring out of her neck. I tried to explain to them that democracy was worth fighting for, because it was the greatest equalizer in the world. And that terrorists must always lose. I had to make sure my Pakistani-Palestinian-American kids knew that what happened in DC today was not OK. And absolutely worth getting angry over. And fighting against.
Maybe this whole Trump fiasco is entirely temporary, and merely an aberration in the grand American experiment. But having grown up in another country that has seen more years outside democracy than inside, I don’t take freedoms and democracy for granted. I know that if mistrust for democratic norms, values, and processes sets in…all bets can be off. That is what makes me afraid. And my fear makes me angry.
Let’s hope this nightmare can be over soon. And a new administration, and a new bright future for America dawns upon us all soon.
And I hope the story of the last 1448 days as depicted in images below never happens again.