Rep Andy Kim (D-NJ) reflected this morning about how he will explain to his boys what happened on January 6 two years ago.
He recalls seeing the boys for the first time after escaping the Capitol that day.
“My then 5 yr old son hugged me and asked “Dada, are you ok?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Did something happen at your work?” I didn’t know what to say and never followed up.2yrs later I think I’m ready to talk to him.
In a 17-part thread on Twitter, he recalls the awkwardness of the talk he avoided having.
“It’s sad to imagine 5 yr olds discussing the horrible actions of adults. What are they saying? What lessons are they learning? But still I struggled to find words to talk to him about what I saw and what happened on Jan 6.
“I want them to know this isn’t normal. They only know a politics of hatred and chaos. It’s all they’ve seen. I worry tremendously that kids will grow up thinking this is just how things are.”
He says the nation is becoming increasingly angry and the one way to break that down, is to earn people’s respect. He says he remembers a conservative voter who came up to him after a town hall. That voter acknowledged he didn’t vote for Kim and wasn’t even sure if he wanted to come. But he says after hearing the Democrat, he’s glad he did. Kim doesn’t think he earned the voters vote, but he says he did earn that person’s respect.
“Respect is key.”
“I will teach my boys to respect the Capitol. To recognize it’s more than just a structure. To defile and disrespect the Capitol is to defile and disrespect our Constitution…
“We are struggling from a crisis of empathy as a nation. It’s why so many Americans are willing to call each other the enemy. Empathy must flow in all directions.
“I hope my boys and kids around our country will grow up to respect our democracy, respect each other, and respect what it takes to be caretakers of a democracy that is simultaneously powerful and fragile.”
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