Capitol Hill Raid: KWHS Students’ Perspectives

***DISCLAIMER : THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PORTRAY THE VIEWS OF THE AUTHOR OR ANY MEMBERS OF THE SNAPPER.

On January 6th, chaos struck at Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. from many Trump Supporters rallying outside, refusing to believe that the “Trump era” is over. Many people believe that this was  incited by our 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. 

Over Snapchat (a social media app), an anonymous survey was held to hear about the Key West High School (KWHS) students’ perspectives on this debacle. Nicolas Gonzalez, a senior at KWHS and their Student Council President, provided some of his input on the situation. “Looking back at the last several months, there’s no way the Capitol Hill riots came as a surprise,” said Gonzalez. “The extreme polarization of American politics has exponentially risen under Trump’s presidency, fueled by disinformation and conspiracy theories.” 

On January 6th, Trumping Supporters are protesting outside of the Capitol with flags and “M.A.G.A.” merchandise. Photo Provided by The New York Times (@nytimes)

We are now hitting the two month mark after the elections, but not all Americans have accepted the fate of our next presidency, Joe Biden. “This is a group of people ruining their country’s buildings all because the majority of the population voted ‘blue’,” said an anonymous KWHS student. Backing up this statement, 97.4% of polled KWHS students said that the Capitol Hill raid was not necessary to get their message across. So, was it really worth it if no one was listening?

Even though Congress did not change Trump’s fate, America did get one thing from this event: a problem. “I think that events like this show how many things we as a generation will need to fix in the future, but reactions to this situation also show that we are ready to make a change,” stated Charlotte Berube-Gray, a junior at KWHS. Adding on, Berube-Gray states that she is confident Generation Z will make a change in the future, putting the pieces back together of our puzzling democracy. 

Looking back at the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, some say that BLM and the Capitol Hill raid are on the opposite sides of the destruction spectrum, others, including an anonymous KWHS student, say otherwise. “During the summer when BLM protests were becoming frequent around the country, the level of violence exercised on some of the protestors behalf is the equivalent of the people who raided the Capitol. Saying that all BLM protests were peaceful is inaccurate, as there are multiple accounts of evidence proving otherwise.” 25.6% of polled students agreed with this statement. 

On March 30th, BLM Advocates are protesting in Los Angeles, holding signs and chanting phrases towards their campaign. Photo Provided by Glamour (www.glamour.com)

As seen on a variety of news sources, such as The New York Times, CNN, and Fox News, the Confederate battle flag was brought into the Capitol building for the first time in history. Many people reacted to this revelation in positive and negative ways. “I’m just shocked really. If there was ever a need to provide an example of the blatant racism and corruption in America, a contrast between BLM and the Capitol Hill raid would be more than perfect,” stated another anonymous KWHS student. 

On January 6th, a Pro-Trump rioter is carrying a Confederate flag in the Capitol Rotunda. Photo Provided by USA Today (www.usatoday.com)

There is still no consensus on what to call this raid: domestic terrorism, the act of commiting terrorism in the perpetrator’s own country against their fellow citizens? Or an act of patriotism, the devotion and vigorous support for one’s country? According to the survey, 79.5% of polled students said that this act was categorized as domestic terrorism, while 12.8% claimed it was patriotsim. 

When the rioters first went into the Capitol, the D.C. police officers did not earn the greatest reaction after the unexpected guests arrived in the Capitol. “If it had been a BLM protest, every police force would be there, even though we have the right to protest,” says Grace Defelice, a junior at KWHS. “But when it came to the [Capitol] rioters, they did nothing but take selfies with them.” Following on January 12, the acting secretary for the Homeland Security Department, Chad F. Wolf, resigned due to the court rulings following the raid, as well as other officials in law enforcement. 

On January 6th, one of the Washington D.C. police officers took a selfie with a raider, later being suspended from his occupation. Photo Provided by Snopes (www.snopes.com)

Kamala Harris, the upcoming Vice President of the United States, took a moment on her Instagram (@kamalaharris) to tell America as a whole that we should do better, to fix what is broken in the eyes of us. Despite Harris’s assertion, 12.8% of polled students said they don’t think this incident is a wake up call for our country. After this action, the only thing we can do now is wait for the next move from either political parties. 

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