If you’re surprised, you aren’t paying attention

By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer

After the coup attempt occurred on Capitol Hill, many Republican leaders are trying to dissociate themselves from President Donald Trump. This is too little and too late.

Trump’s term ends on Jan. 20. Resigning less than a month before he leaves office is not honorable and it does not deserve praise.

I will say it is exciting to see people who supported Trump before admitting they were wrong all along. While this is great to see, I have to wonder why it took them so long to realize the danger of Trump as the president.

From the beginning of his 2016 campaign to become president, we could see that this man was not fit to be president. Strictly on paper, he had no credentials and no experience preparing him to be the leader of such a large and influential country.

Many people argued that he was different and better than a regular politician. They said they were tired of career politicians lying and not following through on their promises, which is fair. However, Trump made it very clear the kind of monster he would be if elected president, and he followed through on his promise and beyond.

While campaigning, he made racist statements about many people groups. He mocked a disabled reporter. He worked hard to convince his supporters to distrust the media.

His supporters even this week are still convinced that the media is lying and that members of antifa are to blame for the coup at Capitol Hill, even though there is no evidence to support this claim.

The Trump administration did a lot of harm through its policies, but what made Trump even more dangerous was his rhetoric. He never condemned white supremacists. He even called them “fine people.” He was xenophobic, homophobic, racist and sexist all through his campaign and presidency.

He was disrespectful to world leaders. He was condescending and arrogant. He threw tantrums on Twitter when he didn’t get his way. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by 26 women.

This is not behavior we allow from others, yet he was elected president. His entire presidency, many Americans defended his every move and mistake, while in the same breath called him the most Godly president we have ever had.

Who’s to say what is in Trump’s heart, but based on his actions, is that someone we should look up to as a shining example of a Christian? Absolutely not.

If you were horrified and surprised by the coup incited by Trump, I have to ask: have you been paying attention at all? This has been his language and rhetoric from the beginning. He inspires violence from white supremacists. He tweeted and rallied them to come to protest.

The worst part about the coup is the blatant lack of consequences for those who stormed in and destroyed government property.

During Black Lives Matter protests, there are videos from all across the country of police becoming violent with protestors. People were arrested simply for being there. Police shot rubber bullets at people’s faces and damaged their sight or injured them severely.

This is the response we see from police at BLM protests, but when highly armed white supremacists come and storm the Capitol, we see videos of police taking selfies with them, helping them down the stairs and not resorting to violence.

There is much to unpack from the events at Capitol Hill, but what we can say for certain is that it was not a surprise, and that we again saw white supremacists get off with a slap on the wrist, whereas if it was a protest where Black people were asking for equity, many more people would have been injured, killed or arrested.

The unfortunate thing is that this is who we are. This is America. From the beginning, we treated Black people, people of color and indigenous people as lesser than white people. This is what our country was built on, and that’s how we got to Trump being president. That’s how his presidency ended with a coup. That’s why white supremacists feel threatened by equity for BIPOC, because the United States was built on their oppression.

The first step in going toward a better future is admitting this and taking responsibility. We cannot go forward if we pretend this isn’t what America is. We’re going to have to come together somehow and create a better future for the BIPOC in America and the world. It’s not going to be easy, but it is necessary.