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Op-ed

Jan. 6: When does ‘Never Forget’ also mean ‘Don’t Remember?’

by J. Pharoah Doss, For New Pittsburgh Courier

Right now, you can go online and buy a tee-shirt that says: “Never Forget January 6, 2021.”

That’s when President Donald Trump, who insisted widespread voter fraud made him lose reelection, held a “stop the steal” rally in Washington, DC on the same day Congress was scheduled to certify the electoral vote count. Trump encouraged thousands at his rally to march to the Capitol and protest his defeat, but his supporters stormed the building instead. Violence erupted, resulting in injuries and deaths.

Congress certified the electoral votes later that evening.

The rioters succeeded in proving the futility of mob violence. Riots aren’t merely the voice of the unheard, they’re also tantrums thrown from a sense of powerlessness.

The next day, the Capitol riot was characterized as an insurrection. Democratic leaders insisted January 6, 2021, was worse than December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor), and September 11, 2001 (Terrorist attack).

The statement Never Forget on the tee-shirt implies that January 6th joins the list of dates in American history that will live in infamy. At the same time, the tee-shirt wants the public to only focus on the “insurrection” and not remember the time period when the anti-Trump reaction was no different from January 6th.

Trump defeated Hillary Clinton for the presidency by flipping five blue states red.

Clinton was overconfident that the electoral votes from these five states were going to the Democratic nominee, that she barely campaigned in these states.  However, die-hard Clinton supporters and anti-Trump progressives concluded that Russian interference was responsible for Trump’s victory and not Clinton’s neglect of key states. They were so enraged by Russia’s “tampering” that they threw tantrums across the United States.

The day after Trump’s victory, the USA Today reported protesters took to the streets in at least 10 cities to march against president-elect Donald Trump. Police in riot gear struggled to keep protesters from becoming unruly as they chanted “not my President” and “we don’t accept the president-elect” in many cities.

In Oakland, a crowd of 3,000 grew to 6,000 within an hour and protesters started small fires, smashed store windows, and clashed with riot police. Los Angeles police made 13 arrests while dispersing hundreds of protesters that brought traffic to a standstill on a major highway. In Seattle, protesters blocked roads and set garbage bins on fire.

These protests carried on for days and some turned more violent.

The Portland police told the public, “Due to extensive and criminal behavior, the protest is now considered a riot.” As the violence continued, President-elect Trump complained the anti-Trump demonstrations were “incited by the media”, and it was “very unfair!”

Since these protesters didn’t accept the election results, they purposely sought to disturb the peaceful transfer of power. In Boston, the anti-Trump protesters articulated their demands by chanting “Impeach Trump” and “Abolish the Electoral College”.

Weeks before the 2016 electoral college convened, Politico reported, “At least a half-dozen Democratic electors have signed onto an attempt to block Donald Trump from winning an electoral college majority … [Democratic electors] lobbied their Republican counterparts to reject their oaths-and in some cases, state law-to vote against Trump when the Electoral College meets … The Democratic electors are convinced their efforts would erode confidence in the Electoral College and fuel efforts to eliminate it.”

Days before the Electoral College met, the Washington Post ran a headline that said: The 2016 Election was Stolen. Got a nicer way to say it? The columnist asserted Russia actively subverted our democracy by stealing secrets from the Democratic Party and using them to undermine Clinton’s campaign.

Finally, the day after Trump’s inauguration, CNN reported that after a morning of peaceful protests and coordinated disruptions of Donald Trump’s ceremony, violence erupted suddenly in downtown Washington. Six police officers were injured, and 217 protesters were arrested.

The Never Forget January 6, 2021 tee-shirt is correct.

We should never forget the disrespect for the democratic process, the breach of patriotic decorum, and the disregard for the rule of law that took place at the end of Trump’s presidency, but we should remember the same disrespect, breach of decorum, and disregard was also demonstrated at the beginning.

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