Local News

Leading Off (1/7/21)

Despite mob efforts, Congress certifies Biden's win.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Capitol. Only there wasn’t anything laughable about it. President Trump’s weekslong campaign to incite his followers using baseless claims of election fraud and outright lies culminated yesterday afternoon in a speech calling for people to march on the Capitol building, where lawmakers were set to confirm Joe Biden’s lawful election as the 46th president of the United States. The “march” ended with a chaotic and unprecedented run on the Capitol building and the death of one woman. After what appeared to be predominantly White rioters breached the Capitol rotunda, Dallas Rep. Colin Allred found himself trapped in the House chamber as the doors had to be barricaded with pieces of furniture — according to some reports, no one was able to find keys to lock them. Allred, a former NFL linebacker, texted his wife, “Whatever happens, I love you,” as he removed his jacket and prepared for whatever was to come next. After hearing screams and banging, he helped colleagues don gas masks, while other lawmakers — some former military — broke off pieces of furniture to use as clubs, if necessary. Ultimately, the lawmakers were safely evacuated, the raccoon-tail-wearing and Confederate-flag-waving rioters were removed after taking their time (being afforded the time?) to loot the Capitol, and politicians returned to certify the election results that no court in this country was able to find fault with, despite the best efforts of Sen. Ted Cruz. As the only living former Republican president and current Dallas resident George W. Bush succinctly summed up the day’s insanity — which started, surprisingly enough, with Democrats taking control of the Senate and reports of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s divorce — “This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic.”

Meanwhile, Back in Reality, People Are Still Dying. Seventeen people died of COVID-19 yesterday and 2,427 new cases were reported in Dallas County, as hospitalizations reached another record high. “With the high spread we’re seeing in the community,” Dallas County Clay Jenkins said, “January and February will be our worst months for both hospitalizations and new COVID cases.”

And If All That’s Not Enough to Get You Riled Up, There’s That $425 “Culturally Appropriated” Mahjong Set. Dallasites Kate LaGere, Annie O’Grady and Bianca Watson launched their company, The Mahjong Line, in early November, offering an allegedly cheeky and modern take on the ancient Chinese tile game that was featured in Paper City and the latest issue of D Home. Their efforts were quickly taken to task on social media, however, for “whitewashing” the game’s history and traditions. Late Tuesday night, the founders issued an apology, but the backlash continued to ratchet up yesterday, at least until the very foundations of our democracy were placed under attack. If you’re looking for a new pastime to distract you from it all, you can learn riichi mahjong, a Japanese variant of the game, at DFW Mahjong.

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