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.