Harris Sees Roots Of Capitol Attack In Charlottesville, Emmett Till Lynching

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 23: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks to the media after dropping off toys at Washington DC Fire Station 1 on December 23, 2020 in the West End neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Vice President-Elect Harris, Mr. Emhoff, and their staff purchased 46 gifts for local children and their families from Sullivan’s Toys & Art Supplies, family-owned and operated since 1954 making it D.C.’s oldest toy shop still in operation. (Photo by Cheriss May/Getty Images)
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks to the media after dropping off toys at Washington DC Fire Station 1 on December 23, 2020. (Photo by Cheriss May/Getty Images)
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January 15, 2021 10:54 a.m.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said on Thursday that last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob was reminiscent of the violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia, during President Trump’s first year in office that has roots in a long history of terror by white supremacists. 

Harris told NPR in an interview published Friday that images of Confederate flags being paraded through the Capitol’s halls had triggered the same thoughts that went through her mind when white supremacists marched with torches in Charlottesville in 2017 and when she saw a photograph of Emmett Till, the 14 year-old Black child who was murdered by lynching in Mississippi more than half a century ago. 

“Sadly, it is not the first time I have seen a demonstration like what you are describing in the history of our country. And and it is — it is a reminder that we still have a lot of work to do,” Harris said. 

The comments linking the mob to the nation’s long history of violent white supremacy unhitched the Jan. 6 attack from a solo Trump act and places it into the annals of a much broader historical narrative of domestic terror that Black Americans have been the target of since the nation’s founding.

In spite of efforts by extremists last week that are expected to continue as federal authorities continue to issue warnings ahead of the upcoming inauguration ceremonies, Harris said she remains committed to taking her oath of office outside of the Capitol on Jan. 20.

“I think we cannot yield to those who would try and make us afraid of who we are,” she said.

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