By Sophia Mazer
On a Wednesday morning this past January, thousands of people protested the outcome of the 2020 Election near the U.S. Capitol and riots broke out. An angry mob of people broke down doors and smashed windows at the Capitol, causing destruction and havoc that left five people dead, hundreds injured, and the rest of us in shock.
More than 250 people have since been arrested and there will certainly be more. Many are now asking: How could this happen? Why would people practically throw away their lives and reputations for a cause that was ultimately pointless?
The carnage was pointless because it changed nothing and never had a chance. The outcome of the election could not be changed. In fact, certification of the results were held at the Capitol later that evening. The only thing that really changed was the way people look at America.
To put it simply, the insurrection was wrong and should not have happened. It also can never happen again.
One of the reasons Jan 6. happened is many of us no longer look at facts. The election was certified because the claims of fraud couldn’t be proven in court. The results became fact.
Many of us have been told that “violence is never the answer” and it accomplished nothing positive in this instance.
Letting your voice be heard is fine. You are entitled to opinions. Facts are different. With facts, there is a matter of being right and wrong because facts have been proven.
Letting your voice be heard is an American right as long as you are being lawful about it. Protesting, peacefully, is absolutely okay. It is even in the First Amendment of the Constitution. There are hundreds who protested on January 6 who committed no crimes and did nothing wrong. The same can’t be said for those who stormed the Capitol.
In addition to being insurrectionists, these people committed crimes such as vandalism, destruction of government property, trespassing, and even murder. A Capitol Police officer lost his life.
A nation is defined as “a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.” The word “united” is part of the definition, but America, in a political sense and others, is not currently united. We are called the United States, yet people in our own country simply cannot agree politically.
But that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. In fact, Generation Z can fix it. For young people, there is much to be learned from January 6. As this nation’s future, young people must learn there is a right and wrong way to disagree. Young people are the future. If things are going to change for the better, it will largely fall on Generation Z.
Some Americans may be un-fixable. They are too dug in and too unwilling to compromise. Politics will continue to divide us unless the young people of this country find ways to compromise, share, and respect one another. This already happens in our classrooms: we work together, help each other out, and listen to each other’s opinions. We respect our differences and celebrate our agreements.
We have to learn from the mistakes of our leaders and figure out a way to come together. We must lead because our leaders have failed to. Those leaders will not be in charge forever. We are next in line to preserve and serve what makes our country great.