The internet was, as it usually is, a reflection of the rest of the world this week. We might be in a new year, but we are dealing with the same shit. The internet was filled with clips, images, and analyses of the insurrection at the Capitol. There were also, however, beautiful long reads, amazing music, and other moments of respite. Highlights: The riot Trump incited, reflections on a failed coup and the Georgia election, SoHo Karen, the customer is wrong, the mysterious disappearance of bucatini, the last two northern white rhinos, Jazmine Sullivan’s Heaux Tales, SZA, and divorce for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Domestic terrorists stormed the US Capitol building on Wednesday to protest Trump’s loss. Congress was in session at that time confirming Joe Biden’s win. The attack had previously been discussed online in right-wing spaces for weeks and incited by Trump at a rally earlier that day.
The police response to this was notably different from Black Lives Matter and anti-police brutality protests over the summer, and over the past few years, in that there wasn’t much of a police presence at all. As of this writing, fewer than 100 people have been arrested. One person was shot (she later died from her wounds) and there were three other deaths due to medical emergencies. That would never happen if that had been a group of Black people. Obviously, the internet had a lot to say about this.
Further, the unpreparedness of the Capitol police is suspicious as there had been significant chatter about such an event online and people did exactly what they said they would do. My father, who is a government employee based in DC, had received alerts about a possible attack on the Capitol since Monday. This is also a police department “with a budget of more than $460 million and around 2,000 sworn officers to guard just 2 square miles of the capital.”
Since the riot, many elected members of the GOP have denounced Trump’s actions and the attack. Some senior members of Trump’s administration have also denounced him, and some have resigned, most notably Betsy DeVos, former Secretary of Education, and Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Transportation. Some people are commending these denunciations of Trump from both appointed and elected GOP officials, but they are only distancing themselves from him now because criminal charges could be on the line for the insurrection and acts of treason.
Currently, there are talks of invoking the 25th Amendment or impeaching Trump, and Twitter has permanently suspended Trump’s account. “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” said the company.