Rep. Ayanna Pressley describes terror of hiding from ‘white supremacist mob’ on Jan. 6
One month after a violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., reflected on the incident and its implications during an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Pressley argued that the violent mob that ransacked the Capitol resulted “because, as a country, we have been turning the page,” and not addressing systemic issues that plague the country socially and economically, like racism and inequality.
“If we really believe that this is a moment of reckoning in every way, then we must act accordingly,” Pressley argued. “And that means that Donald J. Trump must be held accountable because he is culpable for having incited this insurrection by perpetuating this big lie.”
The representative contended that the Capitol rioters must “continued to be investigated” by the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies for their involvement in the riot, and that former President Donald Trump must be convicted in his Senate impeachment trial for his conduct on that day, which House Democrats say incited the riot.
Pressley said that her experience hiding in the Capitol from a largely white mob had parallels to violent terror attacks Black Americans have endured throughout the country’s history. “As a black woman, to be barricaded in my office, using office furniture and water bottles, on the ground, in the dark, that terror, those moments of terror, is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me,” Pressley said.
The representative said that she still felt safe working at the Capitol.
“Again, this is familiar in an ancestral sort of way. So, it is not going to deter or obstruct me from doing my job on behalf of the American people,” she said.
Pressley emphasized one scene she witnessed in the Capitol riots aftermath, where a Black custodian helped clean the building after the mob ransacked the building.
“One of the images that I’m haunted by is the black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob,” she recalled. “That is a metaphor for America. We have been cleaning up after violent white supremacist mobs for generations. And it must end.”