Perspective: The Day I Wept

Jan 13, 2021

Rep. Andy Kim could simply not bear the rotunda looking like an abandoned parking lot, so he donned gloves, grabbed a broom and waste bag and began to clean up. The insurrectionists had wreaked havoc and desecrated The People’s House, a place Kim loved. Rep. Kim is a child of immigrants who loved the United States and its ideals, in the aftermath, before the vote, he was the lone person cleaning up after the carnage.

As the mob broke through the police ranks and flooded the capital with the confederate flag, my heart did not break. When the woman was shot, I felt nothing. I had been expecting this.

When Congress certified Biden as the 46th President of the United States, even then, nothing. I simply wanted to move on. Tired, still I wondered what was I missing that everyone felt?

It was only when I saw Rep. Kim, on his knees, cleaning up the House of the People, our house, that I wept. There it was, the best of us, the patriot tilling the soil of democracy. Patriotism is not the brash, righteous words of hate and exclusion. It’s the willingness to clean up the mess, to quietly go about the work of “We the People.” It begins in the ballot box and ends here, in a holy public space on our knees, doing the people’s work.

I’m Lou Ness, and that’s my Perspective.