Hideous Hypocrisy

The Capitol breach was a clear depiction of white privilege in America

Stella Grist, Copy Editor

On Wednesday, Jan. 6, supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building to protest the election results. As Congress certified the results, the mob protested outside, then breached Capitol doors. The riot resulted in the deaths of four rioters and one Capitol police officer and dozens more injured. 

The storming of the capitol was violent and completely unjustified. According to The New York Times, they caused damage to anything from windows to the light posts outside. Despite the dangerously violent motives behind the breach, police officers treated the rioters more kindly than peaceful protestors. 

The riot at the Capitol was an unmistakable demonstration of white privilege in America. Back in June, following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors across the country got teargassed, shot with rubber bullets and arrested for peacefully protesting. On the other hand, the rioters at the Capitol were seen being let into the building by police officers and even escorted down the stairs, despite many being heavily armed and dangerous. According to CNN, these violent riots resulted in the arrests of 61 people on Jan. 6, while the Black Lives Matter protests saw the arrests of 316 people in D.C on June 1, the height of the protests. 

It is clear to see that the rioters at the Capitol were treated very differently than Black Lives Matter protests, despite having wildly different intentions. The rioters protested to invalidate our democracy and change the results of the election by any means necessary. This included raiding the Capitol building, putting Capitol police and Congress in immense danger. Black Lives Matter protested to get justice for victims of police brutality and prevent deaths like George Floyd’s and many others from ever happening again. That is the difference between the two groups: one threw a tantrum over an allegedly “fraudulent” election and the other wanted basic human rights.

The unequivocal hypocrisy here can not only be seen from treatment by law enforcement but also how Trump reacted. Following the Black Lives Matter protests, he called these peaceful protestors “thugs” and “terrorists” on Twitter and in several speeches. However, he referred to those protesting outside the Capitol as “patriots” in a speech on Jan. 6. 

Overall, the storming of the Capitol was a clear display of white privilege in this country. It was a direct attack on the United States’ democracy, yet rioters were treated as guests. The hypocrisy seen on Jan. 6 was truly disgusting, yet not surprising. The way this country treats people of color is completely wrong and I can only hope these injustices cease.