Ayanna Pressley felt ‘ancestral’ terror during Capitol riots

'We have been cleaning up after violent white supremacist mobs for generations and it must end,' Pressley said

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts appeared on CNN on Sunday, a month after the U.S. Capitol Hill riots on Jan. 6, to reflect on her experience.

When asked about people who encouraged members of Congress to “move on,” Pressley said that that question encapsulates the issues in America.

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“For many to appreciate the threat that white supremacy is to every American and to our Democracy — the reason it took that incident, that harrowing traumatic events on Jan. 6, is because as a country we have been turning the page.”

Pressley added that this moment of reckoning calls for action, including holding former President Donald J. Trump accountable for inciting the incident.

“He will forever be the twice impeached president by this Democratic majority-led House and now the Senate must honor their oath and impeach Donald J. Trump. To hold him accountable but also to bar him from running for public office ever again,” she said.

Pressley said Trump’s “accomplices” who “aided and abetted this insurrection by perpetuating this big lie” must be expelled.

Pressley tweeted that the riot came as a surprise for many while “for Black folks, the terror was familiar.”

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She went on to describe that she was barricaded in her office with furniture and was on the ground in the dark during “moments of terror.”

“That terror, those moments of terror, is familiar in a deep and ancestral way for me,” said Pressley

Moving forward, Pressley wants more security not only in the Capitol but also in the country. She noted that what haunts her is the photos of custodians of color cleaning up the damage left behind.

“One of the images that I’m haunted by is the black custodial staff cleaning up the mess left by that violent white supremacist mob. That is a metaphor for America,” Pressley said. “We have been cleaning up after violent white supremacist mobs for generations and it must end.”

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