"I guarantee you if that was a Black Lives Matter protest in D.C., there would already be people shackled, arrested or dead." ~ Joy Reid
Congress convened yesterday to certify the election results for President-elect Joe Biden, and they were bombarded by a mob of angry Trump supporters who still believe that the election was rigged. For safety reasons, Congress vacated the U.S. Capitol building.
Afterward, the Trump-supporting mob entered the Capitol building and began causing chaos. As a result, nearly one hundred Democratic Congress members are calling for Trump’s impeachment, according to NBC News.
The outlet also reported that this crowd was following directives from President Trump. In a rally outside of the White House, he said, “We are going to walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, congressmen and women, and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them. Because you will never take back our country with weakness.”
Before Trump could finish, the group stormed Capitol Hill, “where they would break through police barricades, rip through the chambers of Congress and vandalize the core symbol of the federal government,” NBC News noted. Interestingly enough, these individuals were not met with the same level of violence that Black Lives Matter protesters faced last summer.
Many have pointed to this discrepancy as a sign of white privilege, as many of the members of the Trump crowd were white. MSNBC anchor Joy Reid said, “I guarantee you if that was a Black Lives Matter protest in D.C., there would already be people shackled, arrested or dead,” The Huffington Post reported.
Some have also noted that police officers were taking selfies with insurrectionists. Yet, when it came to Black Lives Matter protestors, they were scouring social media to identify them, and they were slapping them with felony charges. For example, Jeremey “Mohawk” Johnson, a protestor in Chicago, is accused of throwing a skateboard at a cop.
According to Patch.com, “Currently on electronic monitoring and banned by a judge from using a skateboard as transportation, Johnson has now been charged with felony aggravated battery of a peace officer.”
Meanwhile, the mob at the capital caused 4 deaths, and there were several bombs discovered as well as Molotov cocktails, and one of the rioters was able to do an interview with Fox News. Additionally, they were praised by President Trump, who told them, “We love you.”
Amid mass calls from outraged Americans, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook locked Trump’s accounts. Twitter additionally deleted posts inciting the violence from the far right.
Although many have come out to say, “This is not America,” including President-elect Joe Biden, others have argued that this is America, as the country was founded upon violence. From the slave trade to the genocide of indigenous groups, violence is part and parcel to American history.
Yet, revisionists gloss over those parts of American history so that they do not have to reckon with America’s violent past. However, situations like these remind us that we are not post-racial at all.
More accurately, everything in this country is racialized, and the cause of these riots tells us that. This started because people voted en masse to remove an openly racist President from office. The same group that touts gun rights and freedom of speech got upset when people executed their constitutionally guaranteed voting rights.
As with the lack of police interference during riots, there was hypocrisy coming from the far-right. The only ones who are allowed to express their rights, it seems, are those who agree with their radical, racist views.
Nonetheless, one thing should be made abundantly clear in the wake of this chaos: this was not a protest or an expression of first amendment rights. This was a coup led by a fascist President who was upset that he could not steal another election. ~ℝ
Javanna Plummer, Rwebel in Chief
Javanna is the editor of "Rwebel Magazine," the architect behind "Rwebel Radio," and the pioneering force of "Xscape." Through her words, Javanna hopes to inspire creativity, passion and forward-thinking.
Thanks for reading! To continue engaging with this topic, be sure to check out these great companion pieces. And don't forget to leave a comment!
Rwebel Mag publishes stories across the journalistic spectrum that give a thoughtful glance at culture and difference.