Chaos at the US Capitol: Milken Students and Faculty React

Chaos+at+the+US+Capitol%3A+Milken+Students+and+Faculty+React

Photo by Andy Feliciotti

The Roar Staff

Lunch time is generally a break for Milken students and faculty, allowing them to relax and take a break from Zoom. But on January 6th, many were glued to their computers, shocked to be watching horrific history in the making. While the news cycle was already filled with the groundbreaking election runoff in Georgia, an even more shocking and unprecedented event had occurred. Confederate flags flew alongside individuals in MAGA hats and Nazi apparel breaking windows. For the first time in over two centuries, the U.S Capitol Building in Washington D.C., had been invaded.  

In a near state of disbelief, students returned to class, many of them shaken up by how the riot had developed. Even a school with a plethora of political opinions and affiliations, Milken students and faculty were all in agreement that what happened was unacceptable. The Roar has gathered responses from teachers and students, allowing them each to say their piece about the chaos on the Capitol and express their general horror at the situation. 

Frontpage of The Washington Post on January 6th, 2021

“I’m disappointed and embarrassed for our country. As someone who usually identifies as conservative, I completely condemn what is happening and I am shocked about how leaders in the government are handling this. I hope the chaos dies down soon, along with the vast polarization of our nation.”  – Dylan Shabbouei  ‘21 

“I’ve lived a long time and I’ve seen a lot of civil unrest but I’ve never seen the president of the United States incite a riot.” – Ms. Guth, History teacher

“I honestly wasn’t the slightest bit shocked. Ever since Joe Biden was announced as the next president-elect, I have been anticipating that this day would come. I also realize that events like this won’t stop after Trump is out of office. There is a large majority of this country who feel that their needs were unmet, so they turned to Trump. Trump isn’t the source of this mindset, he is simply a byproduct whose influence mobilizes these people to take action. American democracy is incredibly vulnerable.” – Dylan Seidel ‘21

“I was hoping for 2021 to be a more peaceful year than the last, but turning on the news to see more violent protests, especially ones filled with anti-Semitism, made me feel unsafe as a Jew in this country. I pray that one day all Americans will learn to respect each other and we will reach true peace.”- Talia Emrani ‘22

 

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“I didn’t know Trump was like this. I’m serious I thought yes he’s ridiculous but he’s not listening to anyone. He is crazy. You cannot be in support of this. Is he sitting in his room smiling and watching TV? Is he really telling his advisors, ‘No, I’m not saying anything.’ Someone was shot. It’s just amazing. We can disagree with each other’s opinions, we can disagree with the outcome of the election, we oppose decisions or politicians but what is happening right now is unacceptable. Now is a time to come together and put our disagreements aside and just live as Americans. There is no need to attack those who we disagree with.” – Anonymous male student ‘23

“I think it’s really terrifying and just shocking. I also think the hypocrisy is unbelievable and I can’t understand how this is so widely accepted and respected among one party. Seeing how people were treated for protecting human rights compared to this is just ridiculous. I feel like there’s not much more to say except this is beyond disappointing and disgusting.” – Haley Kohanarieh ‘23

“They’re literally fighting the police and yet no rubber bullets or tear gas? Please. Not very blue lives matter of these people” – Anonymous ‘23

“I think that the violence that has ensued is undeniably condemnable, regardless of which party you affiliate with. At the very least, this unprecedented level of lawlessness should serve as a wake-up call that continuing on that path of partisanship and violence will break this country down to an irreparable point.”  – Shannon Rad ‘21

“This is some hunger games typa s*** wtf is wrong w ppl” – Anonymous female student ‘23

“At first, I was shocked by it, but the more I thought about the state of our country and world, it felt like just another day in America. Especially for our younger generation, this has become so mainstream for us that it’s not shocking.”- Aaron Kermani ‘21

“I think everything going on right now is an embarrassment to our country and I think it’s disappointing that this is what the United States has come to.” Sarah Breckner ‘23

The more that I think about it the more I know that the effects of this event is [are] going to really damage the faith that Americans have in the power of our democracy. What happened was an attempted coup to take over the government and that’s just insane to think that the cornerstone of the country was just attacked. “ – Anonymous female student ‘21

 

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“To me the most shocking thing was that we started off the morning thinking that the Georgia results would be the most important news item. Then we shifted into the certification and little did we know that by the time my afternoon classes rolled around, all those things would be completely forgotten and instead we would be watching a riot and an invasion of our capitol building by domestic terrorists. In the past four years, the news cycle has gone from 24 hours to 20 minutes.” – Mr. Painter, History/Government teacher

“I’m both frustrated and disappointed in our country. Seeing the discrepancy between law enforcement’s over-aggression at BLM protests versus an underwhelming presence at yesterday’s hate crime proved our country has a long way to go until justice is brought to all.” – Josh West ‘21

“I am thinking how this is insane. These people are complete thugs and are actively trying to destroy our democracy because they didn’t like the outcome of an honest and fair election […] I also hope that we will be more prepared for a riot to this extent for the future because this could have been much worse.” – Anonymous male student ‘23

And to those who are surprised about today, I ask how. Obama’s election did not usher us into a post-racial utopia. Rather, it exposed the racial divisions and enmity in our country. Trump’s term has poured salt into the wound… I am distressed, disheartened, but not surprised. I hope the rule of law will prevail, and when it does, there are still serious societal problems and inequities to address.“ – Mr. Kim Seda, teacher

“Yesterday afternoon, pro-Trump activists stormed the U.S. Capitol building, disrupting the certification of the 2020 election. The disruption of the certification is not to be overlooked as it evinces the fascistic nature of the growing right-wing populist movement in America which intends to challenge the results of America’s last election. Many in our nation have become adherents of a populist right-wing agenda platformed by Trump and have shown that they are willing to act on their beliefs. This group, often compromised of white-supremacists, neo-Nazis, and overall, bigoted people threw themselves onto the center stage in the 2017 Charlottesville riot, and have again thrust themselves into the limelight with this insurrection. While this situation shall not be taken lightly, we must also consider the fact that this is not a true threat to the status quo, or to the stability of American quasi-democracy. Beyond that though, this insurrection also depicts the existence of white privilege in America. The law enforcement reactions to the storming of the U.S. Capitol greatly juxtapose the treatment of many activists from protests last year. To conclude, I believe we should not look at this event as a threat to the American status quo, but rather as a spectacle which elucidates the great issues plaguing America.” – Zach Duckorsky ‘22

“Wow, this is a moment in our democracy that we will never forget.” – Anonymous male student ‘23