The Call Came From Inside the House

We’ve always known the terrorists were among us. Now everyone else knows too.

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

As the horrid details of January 6, 2021, come into clear view, there is one thing we should all know for certain: These White domestic terrorists did not act alone. They were aided and abetted by an entire political party steeped in White supremacy and utter contempt for the Constitution of the United States. What else can be said of a party that has made it their sole mission over the last few months to disregard the results of an election because historic numbers of Black people voted? What else can be said about the 60 court cases introduced by the president of the United States as a way of silencing Black voters and nullifying the votes of millions of people?

For months, if not years, the Big Lie has been in the dress rehearsal phase. The Big Lie — that our election was insecure and would be stolen by Democrats — was of course able to persist with gusto because for years the president who cried wolf has largely gone unchecked, unbalanced, and unregulated by his party and by the media who covered him as their golden goose rather than the threat to national security they have now come to realize that he is.

Just hours before White domestic terrorists would murder a Capitol Hill police officer, smear feces throughout the sacred halls of our democracy, break into offices, break glass, carry zip ties and Confederate flags all to the symphony of chants of “Hang Mike Pence,” Donald J. Trump and his inner circle stood before them goading them into action. The president’s own disgraced attorney, Rudy Giuliani, drunk on the high that only greed and lies can provide, told the hyped-up crowd that there would be “trial by combat.” Meanwhile, the president told his angry mob that “you need to show strength, and you have to be strong.”

We are at a place that is so historic in nature that the joint chiefs saw fit to release a statement reminding those in all branches of the military that they swore an oath not to a person but to the Constitution.

Josh Hawley was the first senator to break with Senate Leader Mitch McConnell when he pledged to challenge the results of the election. He was seen in an image that will now go down in infamy of him greeting the mob before they ransacked the Capitol. Hawley was joined by Sen. Ted Cruz, who told a crowd in Georgia right before the Senate runoff that Republicans would “not go quietly into the night. We will defend liberty.” These are just a few of the president’s men who gathered tinder over the last four years, poured gasoline over it with their unrelenting lies about a stolen election, and then handed out matches to a rabid mob of terrorists and pointed them in the direction of the Capitol.

What’s even more terrifying than the acts that we witnessed last Wednesday is learning that they had inside help. In a Facebook Live video, Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey says she witnessed members of Congress—her colleagues—providing a “reconnaissance tour” of the Capitol the day before. In another video posted to social media by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, she said she didn’t want to shelter with other members of Congress because she felt unsafe and that they could possibly tip the rioters off to her location. She also says this in her hourlong video: “If they cared, they wouldn’t have amplified the lie … if they cared, they would have protected their colleagues instead of tweeting out their locations for the mob to find them. They would have acted with integrity, but they didn’t. They don’t care.”

What unfolded last Wednesday is just a continuation of years of hate. Even after the FBI opened 170 investigations into the situation and far-right social media platforms got shut down, the nation remains on high alert. (In case you didn’t know, the FBI warns of plans for armed marches in all 50 state capitals and Washington, D.C., beginning on January 16, days before the inauguration.) The FBI has contacted law enforcement across the country to alert them of the potential for more danger and criminal activity. Here’s the kicker, though: While we are all watching as Trump terrorists get picked up and arrested one by one, what we now know is that several Capitol Hill Police have been suspended and more are under investigation for their role in the insurrection. To make matters worse, in his first appearance since the attack on the Capitol, Trump warned of more violence if he is impeached for a second time. He said that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer “need to be careful.”

While our democracy may not have been overthrown during the invasion, the fact that an attempt was made and that the call came from inside the house—and not from some foreign terror cell — is beyond alarming. America is at a reckoning point. The leaders who have sworn an oath to protect us can no longer be trusted. We are at a place that is so historic in nature that the joint chiefs saw fit to release a statement reminding those in all branches of the military that they swore an oath not to a person but to the Constitution. These warnings also come on the heels of Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, once again warning the public of more violence in a recent interview with Momentum.

What we know is this: While his vice president and members of Congress were under attack by an armed White supremacist mob, Trump sat and watched the horror unfold with glee. He lifted not one finger when calls for help came in. He made sure that the Capitol Police didn’t have the support or aid they needed to secure the building. And now, he will stand alone as the sole president of the United States to be impeached twice for his sedition. The events that unfolded didn’t manifest out of thin air nor were they the actions of “lone White wolves” as we have been led to believe every time White men and women commit egregious acts. No, they didn’t act alone. They answered the siren call to combat against their country.

They answered the call that came from inside the house.

is the host of #WokeAF & #PMMood & co-host of the podcast #democracyish. She covers all the news and happenings at the intersection of politics and pop culture.

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