By V. Susan Hutchinson
After the insurrection in Washington D.C. yesterday, the immediate response for millions of people was to compare what happened during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 to the horrendous actions that took place at the United States Capitol building. There are, however, different angles of comparison that are being made.
The obvious comparison was to the police response both prior to and during the BLM protests versus the attempted coup by rabid Trump supporters. The typical comments say something like “if they were Black, they wouldn’t have gotten in”, “if they were Black the National Guard would have been lined up on the steps expecting trouble” or “white privilege was clearly on display”. All are valid statements because pictures clearly show that police were on the offensive even before violence broke out at BLM protests.
But not in or around the Capitol building yesterday; even though they knew there had been “stop the steal” demonstrations the day before and a rally had just taken place where hateful rhetoric was spewed by Trump and several other speakers.
Why weren’t the police and National Guard prepared for potential violence? Or did they just write if off as they were White so they assumed they would be peaceful?
This appeared to be a somewhat planned and coordinated attack, at least by some of the mob as explosives were found. No one goes to a demonstration with explosives unless your intent is to blow something or someone up. Why didn’t the FBI have intel on these hate groups who have been streaming into the city for the last two weeks and make sure all federal buildings were secure?
Or maybe they did.
A full investigation must be done to determine how our Capitol was violated and our elected officials forced to huddle behind not only locked, but chained doors for their safety.
But They Did It First
Another comparison making the rounds on social media is to make statements that the “BLM rioters” did something similar and Joe Biden didn’t condemn that violence the way he did yesterday. It’s hard to figure out if these people are showing their racism, willful ignorance or are just wanting to stir the political pot. Probably all three.
First of all, there were no “BLM rioters”. The only people lumping peaceful protesters with rioters were Trump and the GOP because in their minds if you are Black you must be intent on violence and destruction.
As a result, Trump supporters, and others, were led to believe that all BLM protests resulted in riots and destruction of property; ergo they were “BLM rioters”. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) analyzed 7,750 BLM demonstrations and determined that more than 93% were peaceful.
It’s just easier for these people to fall back on what they were told to believe for Trump’s political gain.
For the record, Joe Biden did call out the rioters during the BLM protests. He made the clear distinction between the right of the people to peacefully protest and the condemnation of those who were rioting.
People only hear and remember what they want to so now they want to claim Joe is a hypocrite.
Let’s be clear here. The riots that happened during the BLM demonstrations were not an attempt to terrorize. They were a response to the escalation of violence by the police against Black Americans and a call for our government to address the increasing racial injustice in this country.
There is no comparison to those who rioted and laid siege to the Capitol and rioters who wreaked havoc and blamed it on BLM. A review by the Associate Press (AP) showed those rioters were not part of the peaceful protests.
Trump’s vicious mob marched on the Capitol on his orders and with an agenda to intimidate their power mad leader’s enemies and force them to comply with his illegal request to re-install him as president. This was an attempted coup and domestic terrorism. Full stop.
A full investigation into a possible conspiracy across right-wing radical groups to uncover who coordinated and who knew what and when must be done. Anything less is reprehensible. We can’t let this just go away.
And if anyone else says to me “but BLM…” I’ll need bail money.