Hundreds of Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol building yesterday after the current president encouraged the crowd to not back down from fighting one of the “most fraudulent elections in US history,” despite the past two months of evidence disputing every single one of Trump’s claims.
Rioters broke windows, destroyed offices, vandalized government property, and looted, causing social media to blow up with claims of double standards and the obvious white privilege that these individuals carried to be able to simply walk into what was thought to be one of the most secure buildings in the US.
Beyond that, many began posting images from the past year of peaceful Black Lives Matter protests that turned violent due to police and military presence alone. Hundreds of thousands of videos began recirculating of the national guard and police throughout America tear gassing, shooting, and assaulting peaceful protesters for simply expressing their first amendment rights, yet dozens of white Trump supporters were able to simply walk in and out of the Capitol as they pleased.
One of the most impactful images shared showed the Capitol building steps this summer covered with National Guard troops in preparation for a DC Black Lives Matter protest; prompting many to question where the Guard was yesterday, especially since the DC Mayor called on them two days ago in anticipation of these riots.
The Black Lives Matter Global Network released a powerful statement about the blatant racism and white supremacy that was exemplified with yesterdays act of domestic terrorism. They stated that the riot was just “one more example of the hypocrisy in our country’s law enforcement response to protest,” and unfortunately, no one was surprised.
“When Black people protest for our lives, we are all too often met by National Guard troops or police equipped with assault rifles, shields, tear gas and battle helmets. Make no mistake, if the protesters were Black, we would have been tear gassed, battered, and perhaps shot.”
Videos online began circulating of the DC National Guard and police armed and wearing camouflage uniforms on the steps of the Lincoln memorial during a peaceful protest following several days of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the city; rioters made it into the Capitol yesterday and remained there for hours before the National Guard was activated.
The DC Mayor also implemented a 6 p.m. curfew when the Capitol first was stormed, however footage showed hundreds of Trump supporters still outside the Capitol building long after that curfew had passed. If we remember back to the Black Lives Matter protests this summer, the police would pull people walking home from work off the street and arrest them for being out past curfew.
There’s also another double standard in the way in which political leaders and media outlets report on these protests and riots. When it was Black Lives Matter protests turning violent due to an aggressive police presence shooting tear gas and rubber bullets at non-threatening protesters, the narrative turned into one where the protesters were the ones inciting violence and leaving the police with no choice but to control the crowd violently.
When we look at what was going on yesterday, Republican commentators and leaders immediately took to Twitter and told the rioters not to “become like the other side,” immediately shifting the blame from the domestic terrorists who destroyed federal property to individuals on the other side who “would’ve responded the same way.”
The reality is it was Trump’s supporters who enacted so much violence and made dark history by storming a federal government building to protest a legitimate election. So far four individuals have died and 53 have been arrested. The FBI has opened an investigation and will be reviewing every picture and video posted online of those who were in the building, and time will tell how they will all be charged.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.