Congresswoman Cori Bush of Missouri delivered an emotional speech on the House floor Thursday night detailing her experience of the January 6 mob invasion of the U.S. Capitol Building—which she called a "blatant, heinous, vile white supremacist attack"—and demanding that lawmakers take the basic step of holding to account those who abetted and incited the deadly violence.
The Missouri Democrat's remarks were part of a series of speeches organized by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in which members of the House provided their individual perspectives of the events of last month in an effort to inform the public and bolster the pursuit of consequences for all responsible, including former President Donald Trump.
"If we cannot stand up to white supremacy in this moment, as representatives, then why did you run for office in the first place?"
—Rep. Cori Bush
A racial justice and anti-police brutality organizer prior to her election to Congress in November, Bush said Thursday that as the pro-Trump insurrectionists broke into and began storming through the halls of the Capitol Building on January 6, she felt "like this was one of the days out there on the streets when the 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," Bush said. "And I just remember taking a second thinking, if they touch 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."
The Missouri Democrat went on to specifically address the Republicans whose incessant lies about the results of the 2020 presidential election—and efforts to overturn the results of that contest—helped fuel last month's attack, pointing to her resolution calling for investigation and expulsion of seditious members of Congress.
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"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."
"On January 3, we stood together to swear an oath to office to the Constitution," Bush continued. "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."
Watch the full speech: