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'History will not be kind.' | Local historians reflect on Jan. 6 attacks

On Flashpoint, two Charlotte-area professors offer sobering assessments of the Capitol riot a year later.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While political leaders debate the importance, danger and meaning behind the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, two local historians are clear-eyed.

"The history books are going to see it as an attack on democracy," Dr. Scott Huffmon, a professor at Winthrop University, said. "These people were domestic terrorists. They attempted insurrection to overthrow the government."

Put another way, Catawba College professor Dr. Michael Bitzer compares January 6 to the darkest days of American history.

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"In the leagues of 9/11s and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor," he said. "I think it was that monumental of a day that America nearly lost its grand experiment."

As historians, the professors are looking forward to upcoming testimony in front of the House committee investigating the attacks. They're hoping it will give future historians a firm, factual account of what happened that day.

"I think we'll learn a great deal more of what happened behind the scenes, and the American people need to know what happened on that very dark day," Bitzer said.

"We the people need to understand the seriousness of it," he added.


Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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