To the Editor:

I stand horrified at the un-American events in our capitol on Jan. 6, as Congress attempted to certify the results of our presidential election.

I know that I stand with many fellow citizens, but unconscionable numbers of Americans applaud this violation of our civic space. They believe, falsely, in the conspiracy theories that the most secure election in our history, verified by bipartisan officials, was rigged. They are conspiracies promoted from the uppermost echelons of power down into our communities.

As Joe Biden said in the midst of this American carnage, “Enough is enough.”

Some said that this violent insurrection by domestic terrorists was the result of people wanting to be heard. I can respect that desire. But intellectual honesty demands we recognize that these mostly straight, white, male terrorists have had more than a fair hearing throughout history, at the expense of groups whose cries to be heard are met with riot police.

Those who invaded the Capitol scream, “We want to be heard,” but what they mean is, “Give us what we want.”

We must contend with the roots of this mindset: toxic masculinity and white supremacy, two forces that demand special status for certain individuals and unearned respect for biased traditions. The aggression displayed on Jan. 6 displayed toxic masculinity, and their irrational clinging to disinformation displayed white supremacy.

The sooner we address these truths, the sooner we can be assured that travesties such as those we witnessed on Jan. 6 will never be repeated.


Penn Yan

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