Analyzing the storm on the Capitol

Serena Bonnette  

Opinions Columnist   

On Jan. 6 supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress met to certify the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election. According to Wikipedia, this was the most violent attack on the Capitol since the burning of Washington during the War of 1812. 

Far right supporters started protesting peacefully outside of the Capitol building but eventually began to storm the steps. The extremists of the group fought past police barricades and began vandalizing the Capitol building. They broke windows and threatened former Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress.  

They were protesting the official counting of the 2020 presidential electoral college votes that would officially declare Joe Biden as the 46th president of the United States. This process has been in place for years to protect our democracy.  

After watching how quickly the Black Lives Matter protests were met with military police force, rubber bullets and tear gas after their peaceful protests turned into riots; I can’t help but wonder why the defenses against the rioters at the Capitol this month were so lack luster. 

The answer is simple: America has a double standard.  

The U.S. Capitol police claimed they had been blindsided by the rioters and they had not expected to be outnumbered. The Associated Press reported the FBI claimed to have warned Capitol police of possible extremist driven violence ahead of the protests. AP also reported the chief of Capitol police turned down help from the Pentagon military that was offered three days prior. 

With that knowledge in mind, the difference between the number of arrests of both riots plays a key role in deciding the motive, or lack thereof, to defend the Capitol. 

According to the Boston Globe, 326 arrests were made on June 1 at one BLM protest. 61 arrests were made for the siege on the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

The Associated Press reported former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund didn’t accept the help or the warning from the FBI out of fear the Captiol Police would look like they were fighting against Americans.  

During the Black Lives Matter protest last June, military force was ready to be put into action against Americans of a different demographic. I know this, because I saw it with my own eyes.   

The double standard of how each of these two riots were dealt with is evident.  

Although the police claim to have not expected such a violent turn out, the lack of defense is still a huge slap in the face to the riots and protests that happened last year. If the demographics of the riots at the Capitol had been different, police and military force would have been ready to fight back against rioters and extremeists. 

The demographic for the Capitol riots consisted mostly of white Republicans whereas the BLM protests were a diverse mix of race and genders.  

The process of counting electoral votes at Capitol Hill was put in place to protect our country. The First Amendment gives protestors the right to fight for what they believe in, but the blatant disrespect to our nation’s Capitol by people who consider themselves patriots will go down in history as a day that our nation’s democracy was threatened and violated.  

Photo courtesy of TapTheForwardAssist, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

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