“We should unravel this. We can’t let white supremacy … dominate the goodness of what this democracy and this Structure stands for,” she mentioned. “I’m right here on the ground to say that we will not be denied. We’re by no means going to surrender our love for democracy, nor its vitality, nor are we going to let this nation be dominated by the insurrectionists who got here to this place to do nothing however act in a bloodthirsty method. We aren’t afraid of you.”
Rep. Dean Phillips—an average-looking white man from Minnesota—recounted how the Capitol assault made him understand white privilege in a brand new means. “Recognizing that we had been sitting geese on this room because the chamber was about to be breached, I screamed to my colleagues to observe me. To observe me throughout the aisle to the Republican facet of the chamber, in order that we might mix in—in order that we might mix in,” he mentioned. “For I felt that the insurrectionists who had been making an attempt to interrupt down the doorways proper right here would spare us in the event that they merely mistook us for Republicans.
”However inside moments I acknowledged that mixing in was not an possibility accessible to my colleagues of coloration. So I’m right here tonight to say to my brothers and sisters in Congress and throughout our nation. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. For I had by no means understood—actually understood—what privilege actually means. It took a violent mob of insurrectionists and a lightning bolt second on this very room. However now I do know. Consider me, I actually know.”
Phillips’ emotional apology provides context to the testimony from a few of the colleagues he was referring to—individuals who couldn’t hope to mix in with Home Republicans. He described his concern that day, however a few of his colleagues have lived with concern like that and skilled the revolt as too near what they already knew.
Rep. Cori Bush showed how she became a movement leader with a searing speech tying the expertise of being within the Capitol on that day to her expertise of protest, saying, “Individuals had been calling this a protest. Let me say this: That was not a protest. I’ve been to a whole bunch of protests in my life. I’ve co-organized, co-led, led, and arranged protests.” Sitting in her workplace, together with her employees, watching the assault on the Capitol on tv, Bush vowed “In the event that they contact these doorways, in the event that they hit these doorways the way in which they hit that door and are available wherever close to my employees—and I’m simply going to be actual trustworthy about it, my thought course of was, we bangin’ until the top. I’m not letting them take out my individuals and also you’re not taking me out. We’ve come too far.”
The place Bush emphasised her readiness in that second to go down combating—a measure of the extent of menace she felt, but additionally a really stirring name—Rep. Rashida Tlaib described herself as “paralyzed” by the threats she has acquired. Sobbing almost from the beginning, she recounted getting her first demise menace on the primary day of orientation after her election to Congress. “I didn’t even get sworn in but and somebody wished me lifeless for simply present,” she mentioned. “Extra got here later, uglier, extra violent.” One even talked about her son by identify. Tlaib wasn’t within the Capitol on Jan. 6, however with years of demise threats in her expertise, the sight traumatized her once more.
These are superb moments and they’re profound witness to the horror of Jan. 6—the horror of what Donald Trump spent years laying the groundwork for, months setting the stage for as he tried to overturn the election outcomes, and a morning inciting dwell and in particular person. Trump after all had a stable bedrock of U.S. racism to construct on, however this particular occasion was one thing he actually labored for and owns. Republicans need to want it away to guard their very own. That should not occur.