The Four I’s: Reviewing January 2021


Arielle Biran, Staff Writer

Though we all rejoiced on January 1st, excited to distance ourselves from the explosive year that was 2020, this new year has already proved itself to be a fierce competitor for the title of “Most Noteworthy Year Ever.”

This past month has brought forth a myriad of headlines that could easily be the plot points of a poorly written dystopian novel. From this chaos, a pattern has emerged, of momentous occurrences transpiring on each Wednesday of this January. Thus, I present to you the four I’s; Insurrection, Impeachment, Inauguration, and Investments.

Wednesday, January 6: Insurrection

On January 6, 2021, the world was taken aback when a mob of Pro-Trump insurrectionists stormed the Capitol. The attack left five dead, including a police officer who was beaten to death by rioters—ironic from a party which fervently “backs the blue.”

What was most notable about the event, however, was President Trump’s reaction to the tumult, especially in comparison to the Black Lives Matter protests that took place over the summer. To his cult-like supporters, who had desecrated the building with anti-semitic and racist symbols, he said, “We love you. You’re very special. Go home.”

In contrast, Mr. Trump deemed the 93% peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters “thugs” and “terrorists.” This astronomical difference in attitude is just one of the many reasons people across the world are so enraged. 

Wednesday, January 13: Impeachment

I would like to offer President Trump my congratulations for becoming the first-ever president to be impeached twice! Though he spent the majority of his one, singular term either praising himself or playing golf, we are glad to see that his claims of going down in history will be substantiated.

This article of impeachment was for incitement of insurrection, in reference to the storming of the U.S. Capitol. After weeks of unsuccessful attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and pushing baseless voter fraud conspiracies to anyone who would listen, Mr. Trump riled up his supporters and sent them to wreak havoc.

The trial in the Senate began on February 9 and ended with Mr. Trump being acquitted.

Wednesday, January 20: Inauguration

The 59th presidential inauguration was unlike any other that the world has seen thus far. Even amongst a worldwide pandemic, civil unrest resulting from the insurrection at the Capitol, and Trump’s second impeachment, this event was still able to occur and make history.

The swearing-in of Vice President Harris marks her as the first-ever woman as well as Black and/or South Asian vice president. Due to the coronavirus, in-person attendance was limited, but President Biden’s inauguration drew 33.8 million people, which is the third-highest viewership for an inauguration within the last 40 years.

Since taking office, President Biden has rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, reversed the travel ban on Muslim countries, signed a mask mandate, and extended federal non-discrimination protections, just to name a few.

Wednesday, January 27: Investments

Wall Street was abuzz when a so-called “Reddit rally” inflated stock prices for GameStop and other beaten-down companies that were utilized by social media users on forums, including Reddit.

Investing and inflating the price of the stock had been going on for weeks, but it reached its peak on January 27, when the Reddit forum entitled “Wall Street Buyers”, or “WSB,” which had been giving out information about which stocks to invest in, was temporarily shut down.

At the same time, Robinhood, an app for trading stocks, imposed strict restrictions on trades regarding GameStop, inciting a huge backlash from its users. If these hedge fund short sellers didn’t want investors to use their app in stealing from the rich, perhaps they shouldn’t have called it Robinhood.

If nothing else, January 2021 has been proof that the problems that the world has faced throughout the last year aren’t bound by the limits of 2020. Now, rather than dumping every bad occurrence under the shield of “2020” or “2021”, the world can gain perspective and see why things are actually happening.

If we want change from this point on, we cannot sit idly and wait to ring in 2022, but actively strive to make a difference.