Susannah Colt: An attempted coup by white supremacists

  • Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in Washington. AP

For the Monitor
Published: 1/8/2021 6:30:28 AM
Modified: 1/8/2021 6:30:14 AM

How did hundreds of angry Donald Trump supporters break down doors and walk unimpeded into the United States Capitol? It happened because the color of their skin was white.

If the protest had been a Black Lives Matter protest you can be sure the National Guard, Metro Police, Capitol Police, and even the military (as in the case of the Lafayette Park protest when Trump posed with a Bible) would have been out in full riot gear containing the group of protesters in a very narrow perimeter.

Because Wednesday’s assault on democracy was orchestrated, planned, encouraged, and permitted by the president of the United States, he told the police to “stand down.” It wasn’t until he told the crowd of supporters to attack the Capitol and force Congress to ignore its constitutional duty and throw out the election, which he lost overwhelmingly, that the police realized they had a problem on their hands. By then it was too late.

The white, unmasked crowd carrying flags with Trump’s name on them, as well as Confederate flags, “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, flags that support the police, flags that say “Jesus Saves” flags, and more, were essentially handed the keys to the Capitol. They were emboldened by the president and many members of the Republican Party who continued their assault on democracy by declaring the election was won by a landslide.

It is interesting that after the riot was finally subdued four hours after it started, several members of Congress who were objecting to the counting of the Electoral College votes suddenly changed their tune, grew a conscience, and abandoned their objections.

After what happened on Jan. 6, it is time for this country to finally recognize the threat and danger lurking in every corner of the country in the form of unapologetic white supremacists, supported and encouraged by the No. 1 white supremacist in our country, President Trump. These people are as bad as the Southern rebels who started the Civil War in 1861 in order to retain the right to own slaves and then continued the war well after it was over by violently suppressing the Black vote and denying the freed slaves basic civil rights. They want their king to stay in power so they can freely spew their hatred and vitriol as the police stand by and watch.

Who will be held responsible for the greatest assault on American democracy since the Civil War? Trump encouraged this insurrection and declared his love for the people who carried it out in his name. He continues to lie to the American people, openly disagreeing with the outcome of the election.

Can we believe Trump when he says, “There will be an orderly transition on January 20”? How can there be an orderly transition when a mass exodus of his staff and cabinet has begun, resulting in Trump loyalists being the only people left behind to assist in the transition. It is like allowing the fox to guard the hen house.

Accountability starts at the top and it is finally time for Trump to be held accountable and removed from office through the mechanism dictated in the 25th Amendment. We cannot allow a deranged, despotic, insurrectionist to remain in office with the power to start a nuclear war. It may seem like the inauguration is just around the corner, but a lot can happen in the next 12 days. Stop the coup d’état now!

(Susannah Colt lives in Whitefield. She can be reached at

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