Re: “ ‘What else could I do?’ N.J. Rep. Kim helps clean up Capitol” [Jan. 7, Nation]:

The actions of U.S. Rep. Andy Kim, D-New Jersey, cleaning up the trash left behind after the insurrection at the nation’s Capitol was a reminder that it is up to all of us to pick up the broken pieces of our fragile democracy. I watched in horror the violence caused by a president who has stoked white supremacists and was reminded of a time when I lived not far from another attack on America — the Pentagon on 9/11.

Rep. Kim’s humble action sends a powerful message that we all play a role in picking up the pieces and healing this incredibly divided country. Like Rep. Kim, I am a Korean American child of immigrants, and I believe the most patriotic thing we can do for our nation is to put aside our differences to address the racism and income inequality that is at the root of the evil that is dividing our country.

The contributions of all Americans, regardless of race and ethnicity, is what makes America the unique experiment in democracy that is unparalleled. But Jan. 6, 2021, demonstrated how democracy breaks when corrupt power goes unchecked and is unleashed.

Michelle Chen, Seattle