On January 6, 2021, President Trump’s supporters stormed the United States Capitol to purposefully disrupt the certification of Joe Biden’s election. Interestingly, everything was planned over the Internet across various social media platforms. Far-right forums discussed how to storm the building and handcuff lawmakers with zip ties. This is believed to have been a response to orders from President Trump. This event reminded Civil Rights Activist Brandon Robert Watts that the country has deep inherent problems that have still not been addressed. The question remains: how do we unite amid such differences, tension and racial stereotypes? Will Joe Biden’s administration address some of these social and historical issues that we continue witnessing?
Brandon Robert Watts, who has over two years’ experience on public policy saw this as “an act of domestic terrorism.”Brandon is an Emerging Leader who worked for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation where he focused on reforming policy that predominantly impacts black communities in America. Last summer he was one of the active voices in the worldwide protest that followed the controversial death of George Floyd. Brandon recently ran for public office in Washington, D.C. where his campaign was based on building local political power in low-income black communities.
Brandon recalls,“I got an opportunity to work with law makers on Capitol Hill after graduating from Howard University in 2019. During this time, I saw many events unfold such as the impeachment trial of President Trump. As hostile as this administration has been during these times, I never thought it would come to the point of American citizens planning a domestic terrorist attack. I believe that the President and his supporters have made it clear that racism and hate is pinnacle to their survival.”
As the violent protests continued, authorities were left wondering how the participants were overly organized. Brandon Robert Watts believes that the person whom many expected to ensure a smooth transition of power, President Trump, was still trying to pressure his supporters on Twitter not to give up on their cause. It was the first time in history that we saw how social media can be used to rally people into perpetuating a terror attack.
Brandon Robert Watts stresses the fact that “We need realistic solutions and assurances from our leaders that this will not happen again. The cooperate world needs to realize that their silence will soon haunt them as instability affects everyone that is trying to sustain their livelihood, regardless of their racial identity”. He is impressed by social media companies who have since banned some of President Trump’s accounts on their platforms. It takes a lot of courage to stop a powerful person from spewing hate on these sites, and they did it as proof of solidarity with the American Constitution. But is this enough? Brandon Robert Watts insists that more can be done and he envisions a day when both Republicans and Democrats will set their differences aside and work together towards ensuring cohesion is apparent in all communities. As for Brandon, he plans to continue in his fight for the rights and equality of black people in America.
“What I saw was sad and was an example of the blatant racism that still exist in this country. I now know more than anything that the there is a lot more work to be done. The struggles that African-Americans and other minority groups endure in this country didn’t start with Donald Trump, and will not end with incoming president, Joe Biden. I believe that it is clear now more than ever that white supremacy has no goal of settling down anytime soon and it is up to the new generation of activist, organizers, and warriors of social justice to fight back.”