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How We Got Here

Anyone who’s been paying attention to racism and white privilege in this country knows that what happened in D.C. has been brewing a long time. There’s a lot of good research and reporting happening right now outlining what’s been missed, suppressed and ignored when it comes to the rise of extremist militias in the U.S. We get into it in episode 17.

Just a few days into 2021, a mob of thousands of people marched on the Capitol building and attempted to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Things quickly turned violent as the mob overtook Capitol Police and found their way into the chambers.

If you, like many of us, saw the footage, there were images that will stick in your mind. Images that show, in real time, the issues we have to address in the country: The confederate flag being waved in on the House floor, the difference in law enforcement’s response to the right-wing rioters as opposed to last summer’s racial justice protests, the number of law enforcement and military members who participated in the coup against our government.


  • U.S. Rep. from Northern New Mexico Teresa Leger Fernandez
  • U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
  • National Security reporter with VICE News Ben Makuch
  • Organizer and Veteran Barbara Jordan from Rio Rancho
  • Executive Producer with New Mexico PBS Kevin McDonald


NEXT WEEK: Our democracy is being tested right now. It is not the first time. But it feels like a tipping point, and our very lives are in the balance. Can we find truth? Will we come to a place of peace? Can we resolve not to  look the other way when the view is uncomfortable? Will those who stormed the Capitol, who aided and abetted seditionists, and who proliferated dangerous lies, face punishment? Find out with us next week on No More Normal. It’s all about consequences.


  • Sharon Chischilly, news photographer and rising star, for the image for this week’s episode
  • Jazztone the Producer, Cheo, Dahm Life and Oh Lawd Records for providing music for the show. Khaki, Pope Yesyesyall and Bigawatt produced some of the show’s themes.
  • Reporter Taylor Velazquez for the editing help, and for handling much the show’s social media outreach
  • Reporters Yasmin Khan and Nash Jones for the editing help this week

We dedicate this and every single episode of No More Normal to Hannah Colton. We love and miss you, Hannah.


No More Normal is brought to you by Your New Mexico Government, a collaboration between KUNM, New Mexico PBS, and the Santa Fe Reporter. Funding for our coverage comes from the New Mexico Local News Fund, the Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners like you, with support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.