When hundreds of thousands of demonstrators protested the deaths of countless Black Americans at the hands of police officers last summer, law enforcement responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and tanks.
When pro-Trump rioters stomped into the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, police officers watched them, took selfies with them and stood idly by.
This is shameful. This is violent. And the only reason right-wing mobs got away with an insurrection that left one person dead is because the majority of them are White. Most Black Lives Matter protests are not. The majority-White Trump supporters who have stormed the Capitol are not seen as being as dangerous as the minority BLM supporters because of racism in the United States.
I can only wonder how Jan. 6, 2021 would have unfolded if these rioters were Black.
The disgraceful and disgusting behavior unraveling in the nation’s capitol demonstrates policing discrepancies in this country. These Trump supporters are not just protesters and they are certainly not peaceful, and yet it took several hours after the rioters stormed into the building for the National Guard to enter the fray. Meanwhile back in August, right-wing political pundits cited the looting of stores in Kenosha, Wisconsin as justification for the shooting of two unarmed protesters. By this logic, the looting of stores and businesses by largely minority protesters in August was more violent and threatening than a group of White protesters who have broken into the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to secure the election for Trump using baseless claims.
The actions seen today are a complete assault on our democracy being led by a group of people charged by Trump’s hateful rhetoric. They are nothing more than domestic terrorists who want to secure the halls of government for their cause.
GW Police Department officers must take notes and Metropolitan Police Department officers must take notes, even if it might feel too late. We are far past the point of questioning whether to reform police departments – they are institutions built on racism and must be reformed with that in mind.
Hannah Thacker, a senior majoring in political communication, is the opinions editor.