Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) took to the House floor Thursday to claim the fear she felt during the Capitol riot brought back traumatic memories of when white supremacists and police would attack her and other African-Americans in her native St. Louis, Missouri.
Speaking during a special order hour that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) organized, Bush joined several other Democratic members of Congress to reflect on the unrest of Jan. 6.
Remembering how she moved from the House gallery to her office as protesters were breaching the building, Bush said she quickly decided that what was happening was more than just a protest.
“And so I remember sitting in my office with my team and just thinking to myself, I feel like I’m back at this very minute, I feel like I’m back,” Bush said, an apparent reference to St. Louis. “I feel like this was one of the days out there on the streets when white supremacists would show up and start shooting at us. This was one of the days when the police would ambush us from behind, from behind trees, and from behind buildings, and all of a sudden now we’re on the ground feeling brutalized. It felt like one of those days.”
“And I just remember taking a second thinking, if they touch these doors, if they hit these doors the way they hit that door, if they hit these doors and come anywhere near my staff—and I’m just going to be real honest about it—my thought process was: we banging to the end. I’m not letting them take out my people. And you’re not taking me out. We’ve come too far.”
Bush went on to say that Jan. 6 reminded her of Jan. 3, when she raised her hand to swear an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, even though, she claimed, the nation’s founding document “wasn’t written for people who look like me” and “cemented an unjust nation for people like me.”
“If we cannot stand up to white supremacy in this moment, as representatives, then why did you run for office in the first place?” Bush asked. “We can’t build a better society if members are too scared to stand up and act to reject the white supremacist attack that happened right before our eyes.”
“How can we trust that you will address the suffering that white supremacy causes on a day to day basis in the shadows if you can’t even address the white supremacy that happens right in front of you in your house? Does your silence speak to your agreement is the question,” Bush continued.
“On Jan. 3, we stood together to swear an oath to office to the Constitution,” Bush concluded. “We swore to defend it against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Well, it was attacked by a domestic enemy called white supremacy and we must stand together now, today, to uphold that oath and hold every single person who helped incite it accountable.”
— People for Bernie (@People4Bernie) February 5, 2021