In the People's Interest

What led rioters to this ugly moment in history?

The image of New Jersey Congressman Kim on his knees on the Capitol building floor cleaning up the disastrous mess made by mostly privileged white men, was to me, the most powerful image of the Jan. 6 disaster.
The thought that the United States Capitol building is so sacred to a young Asian American man brought up by parents who struggled throughout their own lives, and yet found the strength and love to raise such an exceptional citizen who has excelled in every way possible in our society, brought me to tears. The fact that he was cleaning up a horrendous mess left by thousands of privileged white citizens who are completely filled with vitriol, loathing and anger somehow seems the ultimate irony.
What is wrong with the Trump supporters who participated in the riots in DC? What has gone wrong in their lives, their psyches, their brains to lead them to a moment of intentional destruction of our collective house?
What led them to form a plan that included kidnapping and possibly “executing” our elected representatives? What has led them to believe in absurd conspiracy theories, proven lies and insane accusations all perpetuated by a man whose mental illness has infected our country, possibly permanently?
What led them to this ugly moment in our nation’s history, a moment so shockingly destructive and violent that terror reigned and lives were sacrificed?
Was it perhaps, the very idea that a Korean American citizen, through grit and grace, hard work, tenacity, dedication, genuine concern for his fellow citizens and constituents, and a stalwart commitment to democracy, actually belongs in the Capitol building?
Betsy Danforth

Bozeman Daily Chronicle Letter to the Editor 1/15/21

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