One year later: The fractured legacy of the Capitol riots

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The insurrection on January 6th wasn’t just another violent moment in our nation’s history.

It was an inflection point, a boiling over of tensions between opposing versions of truth itself.

“January 6th is a result, a physical manifestation of misinformation and unregulated information that has been out on the internet for a number of years,” Dr. Ivy Cargile, associate professor of political science at CSUB, said.

Cargile notes that polling data on a Kern-specific response to the events of January 6th is extremely limited. But in the weeks following the attack, she saw in Kern much of what was seen across the nation – two held truths, driven by the voices in people’s ears.

“I think that what was seen in Kern County was a lot of, an outward demonstration of those media bubbles that people are living in,” Cargile said.

I spent a few hours trying to learn what truths folks in Bakersfield held about January 6th.

One woman said it was ‘disgraceful.’ Others said their views weren’t politically correct enough for TV. But across the dozens of people I spoke to, none wanted to come on camera.

Cargile says this is likely due to fear of repercussions, personal or professional, from those that hold a different version of events as true — and over time, she says, this could cause a split in how the events of January 6th are remembered.

“I think there will be two public consciousnesses of this event,” Cargile said. “The question is, which one is going to be able to influence the social studies and history books?”

That fallout won’t happen on a national scale. Instead, like fights over vaccine mandates and LGBT rights we’ve seen in Kern County, that struggle will be hyper-local.

“A lot of those individuals moved from, ‘Well, we didn’t affect the situation at the national level, so we’re going to take this to the state legislatures, we’re going to take this to local governments like the school boards and like the county supervisors’ offices, and we’re going to mount change there,” Cargile said.

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