Responding to the Capitol Attack


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Yomileigh Abdi, Editor-in-Chief

A Message From Your Editor-in-Chief

On Wednesday, January 6, a violent mob stormed the Capitol building as Congress was set to begin the official Electoral College vote count. Incited by President Donald Trump and enabled by Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz, the rioters were united by a common goal of overturning a “stolen” election. 

This insurrection was an attempt to silence the 81 million votes cast for Joe Biden. It was an attack not only on the body of the Capitol and its leaders but against our sacred institution of democracy. 

The HoofBeat staff has engaged in discussions regarding the Capitol attack and how we, as journalists, can effectively tell these consequential stories.


Student Perspectives  

I spoke with three students about their thoughts and experiences these past few weeks in the aftermath of the Capitol attack. 

Here are the questions:

1. How did you first hear about the Capitol attack? What were you doing?

2. What emotions were you feeling? 

3. What were you wondering?

4. How do you see the historical significance? 

5. What will you tell your future kids about that day? 


Senior Julia Torres (Adv. 103)

1. I first heard about the Capitol attack about an hour into it. I was on a run by the lakefront during study hall colloquium, so my phone notifications were off. When I got into my car, I had a bunch of notifications from Twitter about what was trending. 

2. I was completely speechless. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed something of that magnitude happening to a government building in my lifetime. It was really overwhelming to process and understand what was happening, when it happened and how it started. Seeing the lack of guards and some police letting rioters in was appalling. 

3. I’m wondering how the different members of Congress are feeling and coping with the experience. I heard AOC’s story but want to know others’ experiences. I wonder if Republican representatives were fearing for their safety as much as the Democratic ones were. 

4. We haven’t had a massive terrorist attack like this since 9/11. It is terrible that this is something that the President of the United States incited. People are now able to see where the motivation came from. Also, I read that this was the first time the confederate flag had ever been flown in a U.S. government building, which is incredibly disheartening. 

5. I’ll tell them that I couldn’t believe what was happening at first. People were breaching security, breaking through windows and doors and setting things on fire. It was mass chaos at a federal government building with Congressmen and women inside trying to certify the election. 


Senior Daniel Newgarden (Adv. 108) 

1. I first heard about it just hanging out at my computer for colloquium. My friends in a Discord server for my class were commenting on it live as bits of news came in.

2. I’m mostly feeling fear and concern. Not so much worry for the Capitol, the building itself will be fine, but I’m more worried about this as an indicator of the rise of fascism in America. 

3. I’m wondering if this will lead to the passage of a new PATRIOT Act, infringing on the rights of millions Americans in the name of “security,” when the real issue is the widespread white supremacist sympathies in every police department throughout the nation.

4. I don’t think there’s much to worry about with regards to America’s “sacred institutions” or national unity (a harmful concept itself), but I do think that this will embolden racism and fascism in America, especially when we see few consequences for those who participated.

5. I think that I’ll tell them that that day marks a serious milestone in the collapse of the American empire, and what that means for the U.S. and the world is unclear as of yet.


Junior Christi Babayeju (Adv. 209)

1. I first heard about the Capitol attack in AP Lang class. We were going through attendance on colloquium, and someone got a news notification.  

2. I was angry that a group of people decided to take it upon themselves to use violence to assert their vision. 

3. I was curious about how the police and news channels would respond. 

4. It was basically a coup on our Capitol. They put our leading government officials into lockdown. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen anything like this. For something like this to happen in not only America, but in a both political and historical building in D.C. is crazy to me.

5. I would explain the facts. If they asked why people asked this way, I would explain the environment of the country leading up to the Capitol attack: people fighting for LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter. We still have some bias against certain minority groups.