“It was revealed that America’s democracy can recover quickly, even in the face of violence and the threats of insurrection,” said Andy Kim, the only re-elected member of the U.S. House of Representatives among its four Korean-American members in the country’s 117th Congress launched on Sunday, said in a written interview with The Dong-A Ilbo on Thursday (local time). “The damaged image and leadership of the U.S. from the incident can be also restored soon.”
“Although it is disgusting that people seized the Capitol building rejecting the presidential election’s outcome, I felt awe for democracy more than ever and have stronger determination to protect it,” said Kim. He also added that the unprecedented storming into the Capitol would be an opportunity for many to unite and reflect on. “Democracy is a system that enables strong responses to threats,” said Kim. “The voices and votes of people, not violence, should decide the country’s future.”
Kim resonated with the U.S. society as he in the early morning of Thursday knelt and picked up trash off the floors of the Capitol building, which was ransacked by the supporters of President Donald Trump on Wednesday. The picture of him cleaning up the floor where water bottles, clothing items, and American flags were shared by the U.S. press and social media.
“When you see something you love that’s broken you want to fix it,” said Kim in an interview with the Associated Press. “I love the Capitol. I‘m honored to be there.” He thought he should do anything to help and the only thing that he could do was cleaning up. “This building is extraordinary. How many countless generations have been inspired in that room?” he also added.
“I think it was 1 in the morning,” said fellow New Jersey Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski. “There were a couple National Guardsman and I noticed somebody on his hands and knees leaning under a bench to pick something up and it was Andy all by himself, just quietly removing debris and putting it in a plastic bag. He was clearly not doing it for an audience.”