The Jan. 6 attempted coup at the Capitol building reaffirmed the harsh truth that democracy is only ever one unhinged presidency away from crumbling.
A mob of pro-Trumpers stormed the historic building while members of Congress were deciding on the results of the electoral college. Video clips of the scene showed the insurrectionists scaling over walls, pushing through the Capitol police, and vandalizing government property.
As of Thursday, around 60 arrests have reportedly been made and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is calling for impeachment if Trump's cabinet doesn't invoke the 25th Amendment. Other Democratic officials, like newly elected Rep. Cori Bush, are calling for the resignation of Republican leaders who stood behind a president that built his presidency on white supremacy. Members of the Trump administration have resigned, though it's unclear if they're doing so out of self-preservation or actual condemnation.
While the incident itself may have happened in Washington D.C., people all over the country are understandably enraged by the displays of white power. Here's how you can channel your rage and fury into action.
Supply the FBI with tips
The FBI is currently seeking information that will assist them in identifying the individuals that were involved in the riot at the Capitol building. If you recognize any of the people who partook in the violence yesterday or witnessed a scene, you can submit your tips and footage directly to the FBI here.
Contact your elected officials
After 2020, you may be well-versed in the whole picking up the phone and calling Congress thing, but now's an excellent time to use your dialing skills. (Find a how-to guide here.) Call your representatives and tell them what you want: Impeachment? That's on the table. Resignations from officials who incited the mob? Ask for that. Pressure to find out what went wrong with the Capitol police? Request it.
Sign petitions you agree with
There are currently many petitions right now calling for action against the insurrectionists and those who enabled them. Sign the ones you agree with but only after reading the fine print and fact-checking to make sure you want your name associated with whatever causes are being advocated for. (Here's a good checklist to read before signing anything.)
Continue educating yourself on anti-racism
If the last four years (or the entirety of American history) has shown us anything, it’s that white supremacy has always been the bedrock of our country. Trump’s presidency has only brought it to light. You can and should continue working toward being anti-racist by following BIPOC educators, reading books about racism, and doing the difficult work of recognizing we’re all part of a system that rewards white violence.
Donate to Black Lives Matter
As many people were quick to point out, the contrast between how Capitol police treated yesterday’s thugs versus the peaceful protestors last summer is stark. Many communities are still facing unjust prosecution for marching for Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others; if you’re able to, you can donate to the Movement for Black Lives, NAACP, and the Bail Project.
Know where your money is going
Although this effort may feel less urgent, now's a good time to research about which companies actively enable white supremacists and avoid spending your money with them. For example, the next time you're doing a home improvement project, choose Lowe's (whose CEO has a history of advocating and supporting minority-owned small businesses) over Home Depot (whose co-founder voted for Trump in 2020 and encouraged others to do so, too).
Don't ignore white supremacy in your life
New year, same country. Don’t buy into the idea that things will "go back to normal" after the inauguration because again, the default has always been white supremacy. In order to move forward, all of us must continue doing the actual work of talking to our loved ones about how we can hold ourselves and our communities accountable.
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