Some lessons have been learned, but are they enough to create change?
A year after the January 6, 2021 attack on the nation’s Capitol, Diverse Issues in Higher Education spoke with scholars about their observations and whether another such event is likely to occur in the future. Since last year, many noted the ways in which they have connected the insurrection to topics in their syllabi.
“Pedagogical strategy is to do something with folks they’ve been wanting to process,” said CSHPE assistant professor Charles H. F. Davis III of drawing current events—and reactions to them—into the classroom. But given the multitude of events that have occurred in the past five years alone—from the pandemic to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor—Davis said, “there’s just so much, it’s overwhelming.”
Davis said that, for him, the insurrection was impactful not just because of what he witnessed but also because of what he did not: police violence. This stood in stark contrast to the force used against peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters the previous summer. Although the country has learned some positive lessons in the year since the capitol was stormed, Davis says the substantial changes needed to address white supremacy in this country have yet to materialize.