Prior to January 6th: An overview
Ever since Associated Press announced that Democratic challenger Joe Biden was the winner of the election, incumbent president Donald Trump has outright stated that the election was supposedly “rigged” against him despite having no evidence to back these claims. These allegations are harmful to America’s democracy; to repeatedly state and insinuate that an election was fraudulent jeopardizes the trust that the American people place in the election process. However, in spite of this, many pro-Trump Americans only seem to care about keeping their corrupt, borderline-fascist leader in office. They have made this abundantly clear as they have taken to conservative social media sites such as Parlor, Gab, and the mainstream platform Twitter.
Twitter is the preferred platform for Donald Trump. Here is where he boasts about his nonexistent presidential win while simultaneously whining about the election being supposedly “stolen” from him, which is hypocritical within itself. Although it is quite comical to scroll through Trump’s tweets every so often, one must realize the impact of his words for his audience. Trump deliberately urged his supporters to march towards the United States Capitol on January 6th in order to “Stop the Steal,” intentionally inciting insurrection, sedition, and a failed coup.
“But it was peaceful!” False.
Despite Cult 45 wrongfully disagreeing, the storming of the U.S. Capitol was not a peaceful protest backed by the 1st Amendment. On the contrary, this was an act of domestic terrorism fueled by White supremacy.
How can these same individuals claim to be the party of “law and order” and completely invalidate the Black Lives Matter movement solely because 7% of protests were deemed violent while, at the same time, breaching a federal building, threatening to murder legislators, and looting the premises? It cannot be classified as anything else but utter hypocrisy. These select groups of people only support law enforcement when it benefits their political agenda. Democrats saw this performative support for law enforcement peak during Black Lives Matter protests and slowly die down as the movement began to lose traction. These terrorists do not “back the blue'' as they have claimed in the past.
Instead, the phrase was merely a statement that they hid behind in order to conceal their racism. This was further reiterated when Ashley Babbit, an avid pro-Trump Air Force Veteran, was shot and killed by Capitol police the day of the attack. Proceeding this, conservatives took to social media to fire shots at law enforcement stating that she did not deserve to die. If she was not a law-abiding citizen and was not heeding to the polices’ commands, then therefore, by utilizing Trump supporters’ logic, she was a thug and had it coming. Ms. Babbit had it coming just how Republicans stated George Floyd, Jacob Blake, and Breonna Taylor had it coming.
BLM was allowed to riot. Why can’t Trump supporters?
In addition to the hypocrisy of the whole attack, many Trump supporters are still attempting to pathetically excuse their actions on January 6th by comparing it to the Black Lives Matter riots. Their miserable comparisons can be debunked by applying critical thinking skills: a foreign concept to these extremists.
Black Lives Matter is an organization dedicated to fighting police brutality, systemic racism, and demanding justice for those Black individuals who, unfortunately, were a victim to abusive law enforcement officials. Although rioting and destroying businesses is morally incorrect, it was done in the name of justice. A Target can be easily replaced. A Black life cannot be. Contrarily, Trump supporters were not fighting for anything. Instead, they were fueling their anger of losing the election to wreak havoc on a federal building.
A federal building. Not a Target. Not a Louis Vuitton store.
A federal building that both represents and upholds democracy.
Furthermore, the two riots cannot be compared simply because law enforcement was on the side of Trump supporters. Black Lives Matter protests did not have this luxury. Leaked videos of Capitol police show them welcoming the terrorists inside the Capitol. Another video displayed an officer escorting a woman down the steps by the hand with no violence or force. Others revealed Trump supporters taking selfies with Capitol police as well as taking pictures with statues and furniture in the Capitol. And to nobody’s surprise, one video showed an officer asking if one intruder needed medical assistance.
Black Lives Matter protests did not get this treatment. Instead, they were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and an alarming amount of both local and federal police meeting them with physical and verbal violence. The National Guard on January 6th was not lined up at the Capitol steps like they were with Black Lives Matter at the Lincoln Memorial steps.
Peaceful protests demanding reform just so Black people can peacefully walk on the streets without being racially profiled were met with violence. White nationalists were practically welcomed and were able to storm the Capitol for more than 3 hours. This is a clear demonstration of White privilege.
It cannot be labeled as anything else.
“But surely President Trump put an end to the violence!”
No, actually. Instead, former President Trump was wallowing in the white house while former Vice President Mike Pence was left to call the National Guard in order to fend off these terrorists. However, what Trump did do was go on national live television and urged his supporters to go home. But not in a manner that would have made Trump supporters believe they were in the wrong. Trump, throughout his entire speech, reminded his supporters that he “loved them” and that it was a shame that the election was “stolen” from his fellow “patriots” in spite of having zero evidence to back up this claim.
It can be easily concluded that former President Trump is a coward, and his supporters who took it upon themselves to storm the Capiton are the farthest thing from patriotic. To them, patriotic is just a word to hide behind nationalistic, fascist ideals. They have completely misconstrued the meaning to be patriotic. To be a so-called “patriot,” one must be able to recognize a country’s mistakes and urge politicians to fix these mistakes to “form a more perfect union” as the Constitution states. In simpler terms, Trump supporters do not fit into this definiton.