- - Sunday, January 10, 2021

What happened last week at the Capitol was both tragic and predictable. There was no program planned that allowed participants to positively channel their emotions, enthusiasm and anger.

Those of us of a certain age remember the 1963 March on Washington, in which over 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. There were serious concerns about it taking place. Nationwide, racial tensions were high. Yet that day civil rights activists, celebrities and common folk met in peaceful protest. The several speakers had pause points in their speeches, where applause and cheering took place and dissipated some crowd energy. In addition, there were entertainers of note. Being able to participate by singing along also spent some of the crowd’s energy.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke last, giving his historic and spirited “I Have A Dream” speech. The crowd was still enthusiastic. It had been a long day, as planned, but those in attendance still had the energy to salute King’s eloquence with applause and cheering. Afterward, they left peacefully, fulfilled and inspired.

Had there been no other speakers except King, the result of the energy and anger possibly aroused could have resulted in an incident quite similar to the situation that occurred at the Capitol last Wednesday.

It is not known whether President Trump’s direction to the crowd to go to the Capitol was spontaneous or planned. What is clear is that it was unwise. That act has done great harm to Mr. Trump’s legacy, the pursuit of election integrity and the Republican Party. Most painfully, it gave legitimacy to the incoming, illegitimate president.



HESSIE L. HARRIS

Silver Spring, Md.

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