© 2023 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Perspective: Capitol Riot


A recent Washington Post article and HBO documentary have revealed much new information about the riot at the Capitol.

There was nothing spontaneous about it. Manipulating his supporters into violence was all part of Trump’s plot to stay in power. The Proud Boys heard him in September 2020 when he told them to Stand back and stand by.” In December, they listened when he tweeted “Come to Washington on January 6. “Be there, will be wild!” And on the 6th, he told them what to do: “We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore."

This was no spontaneous uprising. His supporters were online for weeks, discussing who they would attack first, what weapons to bring, even sharing floor plans of the Capitol’s tunnel system. Many reported what they were seeing to the FBI. After investigating, the FBI dismissed much of the chatter, calling it free speech.

And after all, these people weren’t foreign terrorists or antifa or Black Lives Matter protestors.

On January 6, this blind spot enabled a huge crowd of armed, angry and determined rioters to overrun the woefully outnumbered Capitol police. You can see the fear in the eyes of the police as they see what’s facing them and try to stand their ground against overwhelming odds.

It is awe-inspiring and heartbreaking.

Meanwhile, in the White House, the soon to be ex-president watched it on tv for hours.

I’m Deborah Booth and that’s my perspective.

Deborah Booth retired in Fall 2014 from NIU, where she was the director of External Programs for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.