DC Riots and Cancel Culture

On January 6th, 2021, a riot occurred at the Capitol in Washington, DC. Supporters of President Trump raided the United States Capitol in an attempted coup with the ultimate goal of trying to stop the certification of President-Elect Joe Biden.

Around noon (EST), President Trump addressed a rally he had put together, called the “Save America Rally” in the U.S. capital, D.C. Thousands of supporters of the president had come to the capital from all over the country to show their support for the president.

During the rally, the president used language that had become part of the “Trump brand” for the past two months. For example, “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide. This was not a close election,” calling into question the legitimacy of the election as he has been doing ever since Joe Biden was projected to win on November 7th, 2020 and later confirmed as the winner by Congress on January 6th, 2021. “Pres. Trump Holds ‘Save America’ Rally in D.C.”

Some of Trump’s final remarks at the rally were, “We’re going to the Capitol. We’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country” and “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Thousands of supporters from the rally marched to the Capitol from their location at The Ellipse. Police attempted to barricade the area but were quickly overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of rioters, and the protest began to turn violent quickly.

Raiders stormed the area and even scaled walls. After successfully breaching into the building, many began looting the offices of members of the House. Several items were either stolen, destroyed, or vandalized.

The House of Representatives and Senate were evacuated and taken to a secure area. After the protesters broke into the complex, police started drawing guns to defend the area. After the raid was quelled after a message from the president promising an “orderly transition of power,” many makeshift explosives were found in the area, and five people died due to the riot. Since then, the FBI has opened many cases and investigations into the event.

Following the events of the Capitol protest, Twitter, and other social platforms, decided to permanently suspend President Trump’s account.

This was certainly not the first time Donald Trump was censored online; several weeks before his permanent banishment from Twitter, Twitter had already been taking matters into its own hands, often removing his tweets, or adding a disclaimer underneath his posts.

Many conservatives talk a lot about the power of “big tech” (the biggest corporations, consisting of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc.) and how biased it is against their values, as well as cancel culture and how it suppresses conservative values on the internet.
“Cancel culture,” or “canceling” someone online usually involves denying support to someone and their work online, similar to exile. Often, the goal is to get the target to publicly apologize and step down from their job. People are canceled over controversial things they have done.

This new norm has become synonymous with the social media platform, Twitter, where big names are often canceled. Many people are now questioning the validity of cancel culture, how its influence has changed the internet.

The act of canceling can bring said person’s career to an end in days and make it hard for them to be reaccepted into society. This is especially true for online personalities, such as Minecraft YouTuber “CallMeCarson,” who was recently canceled over allegedly sextingunderaged fans.

This high risk has led many to fear saying anything in public in fear of being canceled online. Those who don’t think the same way society does are always at risk of losing their jobs, status, friends, and more.

Things get even more complicated as some people falsely claim they have been harassed by a celebrity in an attempt to gain fame themselves, or just to sabotage someone’s career.

However, many claim cancel culture can indeed bring real change. It can help those who have suffered from abuse, or sexual assault, especially when people of high influence are involved. There are many cases where racism was stopped thanks to cancel culture.

Many people have opinions of cancel culture, with a very vocal group wanting it gone.

While cancel culture does have the power to change and influence society for the better, however, many believe a firm line should be put in place for when it is necessary and when it could be silencing others.

“Pres. Trump Holds ‘Save America’ Rally in D.C.” Performance by Donald J Trump, Youtube, 2021. Youtube, www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHBNjc6OYLk.