Rep. Cori Bush spoke out about what she experienced at the Capitol during January’s insurrection and called on her fellow lawmakers to acknowledge and condemn the white supremacist violence for what it was.
The Missouri Democrat, who was elected to the House of Representatives last November, was one of many members of Congress to share their experiences during the deadly Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol in an hour-long session organized by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, USA Today reports.
Bush, a longtime Black Lives Matter organizer who has been protesting against police brutality since at least as far back as the 2014 Ferguson uprising, told her fellow legislators that during the insurrection, she felt like she was back “on the streets when white supremacists would show up and start shooting at us.”
“I just remember thinking, if they touch these doors...and come anywhere near my staff…we bangin’ till the end,” she said, per NBC 7 San Diego. “I’m not letting them take out my people, and you’re not taking me out. We’ve come too far.”
The gravity of Bush’s account echoes that of Ocasio-Cortez, who, in an Instagram Live on Monday night, called the experience traumatic. It also reflected the seriousness with which Rep. Rashida Tlaib spoke on Thursday as she described the death threats she receives on a regular basis and the impact they have had on her health and well-being.
Occurring just before the House voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments, in part because of the Georgia Republican’s past endorsement of violence towards “The Squad” and other Democratic lawmakers, Bush demanded accountability for what took place on Jan. 6. She also called on all present to acknowledge the attack as fundamentally white supremacist in nature and to reject white supremacist violence more broadly.
“If we cannot stand up against white supremacy in this moment as representatives, then why did you run for office in the first place?” she said. “Building better communities, building better lives is not a Democratic or Republican issue. 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 address the white supremacy that happens right in front of you in your house?” she continued. “Does your silence speak to your agreement?”