Two Protests, Different Response
June 1st, 2020. Amidst the BLM protests, Donald Trump utilized the power of law enforcement to forcefully “dispersed” the peaceful protestors in order to get a picture of him holding a bible in front of St. John’s. Law enforcement, wearing riot gear, hit these protestors with tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets at point-blank.
On January 6th, 2021 a real riot broke out. What had traditionally been a ceremonial congressional event turned into the tragic day in American history, since 9/11. Mobs of Trump supporters violently broke-in to both House and Senate chambers, and the counting of the electoral college votes was halted, as representatives and senators were told to evacuate.
Yet, Law enforcement did not forcibly remove the protestors from the steps of the capital even as they were committing multiple felonies. In all, almost no arrests were made on sight.
The stark contrast between these two events sadly is an accurate representation of the United States of America(although I can’t say for sure if we are “united” anymore).
White men carrying Confederate flags with guns slung around their shoulders can breach one of the most important government building with nearly any resistance to stop them. On the other hand, minorities, people of color(or all races and genders, for that matter) are faced with violence from the ones who are meant to uphold the law, while they are practicing their constitutional right to peacefully protest.
Donald Trump is the main reason for his supporters’ rowdy behavior. He has been actively lying to them about the election and even pressured the Vice President to block the confirmation, something that Mike Pence cannot do under our constitution.
“I hope Mike is going to do the right thing,” President Trump said Wednesday morning at a rally outside the White House. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.”
And while we all knew that Mike Pence could and would not use his powers to block the count, Trump could not accept his defeat and fed his supporters lies. His supporters, bought into Donald Trump’s rhetoric, which made them dangerous.
However, apparently they were not dangerous enough for law enforcement to start “disperse” them using tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets at point-blank. Even as “protestors” occupied the Senate Floor, sat in the speaker’s seat, raided SOH Pelosi’s office, sufficient action were not taken to stop them. Countless BLM protestors were arrested on-sight by law enforcement officers brutally harassing them while protesting about “law enforcement officers brutally harassing them.” In Portland, Oregon, the National Guard was called in to “disperse” the protestors.
Yet, nothing of the kind for Trump supporters. If what happened on Wednesday was a BLM march, it would have been ‘dealt with’ in under a few hours.
And as for the President of the United States, his reaction to the raid yesterday could not be any more different that his reaction to the BLM marches. Trump referred to the Black Lives Matter protestors as “thugs” saying, “when the looting starts the shooting starts.” But what did he say to the thugs raiding Congress?
Stay peaceful. We love you. You’re very special.
Seriously, of all the people to love in the world, you say “We love you. You’re very special” to these thugs?
President-elect(or President-confirmed now) Joe Biden voiced his opinions calling for the mob to disperse and for President Trump to address his supporters.
“This is not dissent, it’s disorder. It’s chaos, It borders on sedition, and it must end now. The words of a president matter, no matter how good or bad that president is. At their best, the words of a president can inspire, and at their worst, they can incite.” -Joe Biden
We knew that Trump wasn’t going to back down easy. After all, he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power. We now know the extent the president and his supporters will go. We also know that a similar event is likely on January 20th. With only about 2 weeks to inauguration, Law Enforcement needs to get ready for round 2, and get ready fast.