On Thursday night, the committee investigating the insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 will hold its first public hearing. There are indications that the objective evidence systematically harvested by the committee will reveal, in overwhelming fashion, an attempted coup that potentially extended to the highest levels of the then-sitting American government.
Like every other question currently percolating through our nation, there are two sides. Regardless of whether there should be.
Among those who are both-sidesing one of the most harrowing and troubling events in American history is Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. In response to a tweet suggesting that Americans need to know the whole story of January 6, Del Rio said this: “Would love to understand ‘the whole story‘ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is??? #CommonSense.”
First of all, the events of the summer of 2020 aren’t “never discussed.” They are discussed, primarily by those who believe that the organic reaction to police violence against minorities equates to a calculated, strategic, and sustained effort to sell a lie to the American public about the outcome of the 2020 election — and then to use a combination of Constitutional chicanery and brute force to overturn the will of the people.
Second, there’s a real difference between disorganized mayhem and a calculated assault on the seat of governmental power during the process of certifying a presidential election, at the express urging of elected officials and those aligned with them.
What happened on January 6 is precisely what many had feared in the weeks preceding it. It was in many ways worse than expected. It was in many other ways better than it could have been.
Regardless, the two dynamics are very different. And Del Rio’s effort to obscure the process of getting to the truth about January 6 by playing the what-about game regarding the summer of 2020 is disingenuous and harmful to the process of discerning the events that culminated in an assault on the U.S. Capitol.
I asked the Commanders if they have any reaction to Del Rio’s tweet. The team has no comment, for now.
Del Rio is entitled to his opinion (and we’re entitled to say his opinion is misguided), but he’s not entitled to his facts. Every American should be interested in setting aside partisan politics and listening to the evidence that the committee has developed, with an open mind and the best interests of the country at heart.
Regardless of political persuasion, no one should want to see a repeat of January 6. To best ensure that it doesn’t happen again, we need to know what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. If the violence, which entailed vicious assaults on multiple members of law enforcement, was incited or in any way coordinated by governmental officials, they should be held accountable.
If we can’t agree on that basic fact, then maybe America isn’t in danger of falling. Maybe it already has.