Donald Trump invited them.
Every single one of them.
The bearded man in the “Camp Auschwitz” shirt.
The man in the T-shirt that read “6MWE.” It stands for “6 Million Wasn’t Enough.”
The man parading around with the Confederate flag, the symbol that celebrates our disgraceful past of human trafficking, torture and murder known as slavery.
The person who scrawled “MURDER THE MEDIA” on the door.
The gang who wore matching “MAGA CIVIL WAR January 6, 2021” T-shirts.
They had long prepared for this. Trump invited them back on Dec. 19, 2020, when he dubbed Joe Biden’s victory a “Fake Election” and tweeted to 88 million followers, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.”
He invited the ones who brought Molotov cocktails and Mason jars filled with gasoline and Styrofoam so it would stick like napalm when lit.
The ones who wore Kevlar vests and gas masks and carried handfuls of zip ties, the kind used to restrain hostages.
The one who brought the M4 assault rifle and all its matching ammo magazines.
The ones who set the pipe bombs at the headquarters of the Democratic and the Republican parties, whose timing devices were crude but ready.
The ones who erected the wooden gallows and hung a lynching noose on it to proudly remind every Black person in America that their hate is still as deadly as ever.
The one who screamed into the megaphone, “Execute the traitors! I wanna see the executions!”
Trump reminded them about the party the day after Christmas when he tweeted, “Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th.”
He invited the one who took a fire extinguisher and bashed in the head of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. The 42-year-old Iraq war veteran died after being on life support.
Trump told them again on Jan. 5 at a rally in Georgia: “They’re not taking this White House. We’re going to fight like hell!”
He invited the man who left a note for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling her a bitch.
The ones who carried metal pipes and pepper spray. The looters who stole documents and laptops and broke furniture.
The ones who used police riot shields to bash in windows. The ones who chased a Black police officer up flights of stairs as he tried to hold them back with words of reason.
Amazing isn’t it? People like this used to have enough shame to wear white hoods.
These haters? They were taking selfies. Trump has emboldened and encouraged them for five long years. He’s given them permission. Go ahead and hate people of color. Jews. Muslims. Gays. Women. Disabled people. The media. The list keeps growing.
After the attack, Trump called the bigots, traitors and terrorists “patriots.”
Those would be the law enforcement officers who risked their lives to protect everyone, who tried to save protester Ashli Babbitt after she was shot and killed while trying to force her way into the Speaker’s Lobby.
The lawmakers who stayed through the night to certify the election of Joe Biden without delay.
The employees who had to use leaf blowers to sweep away the mess the looters left behind. Rep. Andy Kim, D.-N.J., who spent hours cleaning up the halls because, for him, the Capitol “is literally the heart of this country.”
There is already evidence the rioters will return to cause more mayhem on Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.
Reports say they will be met with 6,000 National Guard. We sure could have used the National Guard present when the mob attacked the Capitol. It has to be said, how can we get a massive military show of force to crush Black protesters but find it hard to even muster up a tear gas canister against a mob of white racists trying to derail our democracy?
As for the inauguration, one option is to cancel the big ceremony. We don’t need a crowd to swear in a new president. All we need is the oath and the right people present. Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath on Air Force One after John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
It doesn’t mean the haters win. It means we don’t give them a stage or a spotlight.
We can blame the pandemic, which actually does exist, and just killed 4,000 Americans in one day. That’s over 1,000 more lives than 9/11 cost us. COVID-19 made us all cancel our weddings, funerals and family gatherings. Why encourage tens of thousands to travel across the country to gather during a pandemic?
An inauguration ceremony costs around $200 million. We lost 9.4 million jobs in 2020. We lost 140,000 jobs in December alone. How can we have a party when people are facing evictions and waiting in food lines?
If we do proceed with it, we need every law enforcement group solidly in place and working together to protect the lives of Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and everyone else present.
If only the Narcissist in Chief would resign. No matter what Trump does next, although he’s now been impeached, we must convict him to strip away his pension, security detail, travel benefits and prevent him from ever running for office.
I don’t know whose blood was left smeared on the bust of President Zachary Taylor after the attack, but we all know who is responsible for the death of Sicknick.
His blood is on the hands of Sen. Josh Hawley, who gave the mob a fist pump as he passed. It’s on the hands of Sen. Ted Cruz and Rudy Giuliani, who fed the lies and hate all along.
It’s on the hands of everyone who still supports the man who has the bloodiest hands of all, Donald Trump.
Connect with Regina Brett on Facebook at ReginaBrettFans. 2019 Ohio SPJ Best Columnist. “Little Detours” with Regina Brett can be heard at reginabrett.com or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.