Domestic Terrorists vs Black Lives Matter – PRIVILEGE IN ACTION


Lucy Kratman The summer of 2020 screamed for change and justice in retaliation for the numerous deaths of African-American citizens by police brutality. #BLACKLIVESMATTER, a movement founded in 2013 calling for an end to police brutality and discimination violence against black people, took to the streets in overwhelming numbers to protest the deaths of such as George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and many more. Pictures of the National Guard assembling in squadrons on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, dressed up to their necks in riot gear, for the peaceful protests calling for equality flipped on its head when a mob of domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Instead of the full-on camo National Guard who, by the way, have a duty to protect both community and country in response to domestic emergencies, the Capitol Police wore bike helmets. Instead of tear gas and rubber bullets, they had a tiny can of pepper spray like the one I keep in my purse. In a video shared on Twitter of the initial break in, police officers appealed to the rioters, saying “You need to leave.” On January 6, 2021 a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol and managed to break into the Capitol Building, despite the building being defended by the 2,000 armed men and women of the Capitol Police. For weeks prior to the attack, President Donald Trump expressed his refusal to accept Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential win. On January 6, during his “Save America Rally”, the president told his supporters that they will never stop fighting for the election he claims to have won. He claimed that Biden’s presidency will be illegitimate and said, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” These words incited the storming of the Capitol by a mob of Pro-Trump supporters, some dressed in animal pelts and a sparse few wearing masks. Rioter, Richard Barnett, got into Speaker Nancy Pelossi’s office, put his boots up on her desk, and wrote on a manilla folder, “We will not back down.” before stealing a piece of mail from her desk. Bernett was charged with three federal counts as of last week. Ahead of the attack, Capitol police told Congress that measures were being taken to increase security. In late December, Capitol Police spokesperson Eva Malecki told Roll Call that the department “has comprehensive security plans in place and we continuously monitor and assess new and emerging threats.” Despite these extra precautions, the mob of violent Trump supporters were able to smash windows and infiltrate the Capitol. It became abundantly clear that the police were severely outmatched. In an interview with Vox, Ohio democratic representative Tim Ryan, the chairman of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee, a panel with oversight over Capitol Police, admitted the epic failure of the Capitol police but pointed out that “These were violent people who were swinging lead pipes at the cops. These were people armed with pepper spray, spraying at cops.” It’s a weak excuse when comparing the leagues of men and women stationed at Black Lives Matter Protests over the summer. While the protests against police brutality toward African-Americans were peaceful, they ended in tear gas grenades, baton beatings, and arrests. There have been over 100 arrests according to the FBI in regards to the Capitol riots but the differing treatment is obvious. There’s also a stark difference with what the Capitol rioters actually did: shattering windows, harming police officers, stealing property, taking down the American flag to fly a Trump one. This is the legacy President Donald Trump will leave – terrorists storming the nation’s capitol in his name after he repeatedly lied about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.