When domestic terrorism hits home


Wikimedia Commons

Trump supporters and stolen election conspiracists gather at the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

Maddie Pope, Staff Writer

On Jan. 5, during the midst of the attack on the capitol and violent rioting in Washington, a video was sent to 18 year old Helena Duke in which she noticed her mother, aunt and uncle all at the front of the controversy. The video showed black police officer, Ashanti Smith, surrounded by the white rioters and defending herself against one white woman who happened to be Helenas’s mother, Therese Duke.
Helena Duke is a teenager from Massachusetts who is in constant disagreement with her mother, the most divisive though are the ones over their difference in political views. When she saw her mom so heavily involved in these videos she did what she thought was right and decided to hold her family accountable.

Helena, who didn’t even know her mom was in Washington before seeing the videos, took to twitter and wrote, “hi mom remember the time you told me I shouldn’t go to BLM protests bc they could get violent… this you?” attached to the video of her mom and it blew up fast.

Helena also posting, “Hi this is the liberal lesbian of the family who has been kicked out multiple times for her views and for going to BLM protests to care what happens to me so: Mom: Therese Duke Uncle: Richard Lorenz Aunt: Annie Lorenz,” exposing her family to the public.

Helena Duke has said that because of her decision to not let her family’s actions slide, she has received threats and hate online. She also added that her mother was furious with her, blaming her for all the backlash she has received as well as losing her job. Helena Duke said to Rolling Stone, “I don’t think I was betraying her in any sense, I was treating her the way she treats me,” also stating “I think it’s more her actions who have put us at risk when she decided to go out there and harass that woman.”
All kids are taught from a young age that if you see something, you should say something. Meaning that in one way or another, a possible threat should be pointed out and the people should be held accountable. Whether it be a stranger outside your school that you report to a teacher, or in this case family involved in something they shouldn’t be. Helena Duke saw that police were requesting names and saw a way to share something that she felt was wrong.
Since the video, Ashanti Smith has come out and said in an Inside Edition interview that she was at fear for her life in the huge crowd and was being called slurs and repeatedly threatened by the rioters. Helena backed up Smith when she joined in on the interview to give her story as well saying, “I don’t think she did anything wrong.”