For the first time in 200 years, rioters breached the lines of the United States Capitol building. Fully clad with the protection of MAGA hats, guns and white privilege, mobs of self-titled ‘patriots’ successfully forced Congress to halt in the midst of Joe Biden’s certification.
Back in the summer of 2020, Black Lives Matter activists in DC were protesting the murder of George Floyd. Little to no remorse was shown from the police force, who came equipped with tear gas and rubber bullets, despite these being largely peaceful protests.
This begs the question: Why wasn’t there adequate security to prevent the events of Jan. 6, the day Congress was to finalize Biden’s victory when President Trump had spent months spreading false information to his supporters in an attempt to denounce the election results? Trump even promoted the event on Twitter, telling his followers to “Be there, and be wild.”
It should come as no surprise that almost half of all Republicans supported the riots, especially when considering how Trump only called for his supporters to retreat after being prompted to by Biden. Trump told them to “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!” Which is shockingly different from his response to the Black Lives Matter protests where he stated, “When the looting starts, shooting starts,” later referring to the activists as “thugs.”
These Capitol protesters were met by an inadequate number of law enforcement personnel, who appeared powerless in quelling the insurrection. When the National Guard finally showed up, they took hours to access the situation but still managed to peacefully escort the assembly outside of the building. Hardly any defensive measures were taken as the police turned a blind eye to the sheer quantity of weapons on federal property. No mass arrests were made, and those that took place were misdemeanor charges for violating the poorly enforced curfew that took effect at 6 p.m.
Imagine what would happen if people of color were to scale government walls and carry weapons, let alone infiltrate a federal building? There would have been bloodshed. The day would have gone down in history as a massacre, and many people would have justified it. An act of terrorism was committed the moment rioters illegally entered the Capitol. A glaring double standard from the police made these people look like tourists in comparison to how many treated the BLM activists, and people of color on a daily basis.
The fact is, innocent Black lives have been lost to the police for much less. George Floyd was buying cigarettes. Breonna Taylor was sleeping peacefully in her room. Tamir Rice was playing in a park. Ezell Ford was walking in his neighborhood. Yet this week there were officers seen taking selfies with the people committing genuine crimes against the country. Make it make sense.