Racial disparities apparent at Capitol riot

Published 9:18 pm Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The world witnessed the insurrection at our U.S. Capitol last week, and the transparent difference in treatment with the BLM protests compared to the mostly white Trump protesters. Five people died because of the violence, including one police officer. Another police officer was crushed in a door. 

During the violent rioting, the rioters were chanting, “Hang Mike Pence,” while Pence, the vice president, was in the Capitol. Others said, “We’re coming for you Pelosi.” Another rioter said he “went to the Capitol to put a bullet into her knoggin’” on live TV. The inconsistency, hypocrisy and travesty of injustice again show how Blacks are treated different compared to whites. Imagine the police responsibility had that been BLM protestors. Imagine the president’s response for those protestors storming the Capitol if they were BLM protesters. It would have been a bloody massacre of Black lives.

The peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square last summer were pepper sprayed before curfew, tear-gassed, arrested, shot with rubber bullets, shot with real bullets. BLM protesters were swiftly arrested and put in jail, and the military guard was already there, as compared to showing up almost two hours after the insurrectionists overtook the Capitol. 

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We watched a completely lawless and mayhem band of insurrectionists go and tear up the Capitol, bring guns, put their feet upon desks, take pictures of emails, and waving the confederate flag. It was a despicable act of terrorism. Blacks can be beaten, arrested, and killed for jay walking, and yet you can have a band of white rioters tear up the Capitol building and walk out or escorted out without being arrested. 

This past June the president threatened to invoke the insurrection act because there were peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square just to have a photo op holding the bible upside down. Also, in June, the National Guard lined the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for a BLM protest, where there was not the kind of aggressiveness or planning as compared to the Trump insurrectionists.

Also look at last year at the way President Trump handled the violence on federal property. Look at Portland, Oregon, when you had a group who were engaged in attacking a federal building. Trump sent in the Calvary, saying he would not abide threats to federal property. Compare that to what we are seeing now in the nation’s capitol. We are a nation of laws and not of men, but that depends on which side of the fence you are on, and your skin color.

This is what is unconscionable and wholly unjust about America and the duplicity and double standard for Blacks. As always, Blacks are viewed under a microscope whereas others are viewed through a telescope. When you saw mostly whites rioting and destroying federal property, did you call them animals and the other depicts you called the BLM protesters?

The insurrectionists that were protesting were doing so because they feel the election was stolen, and feel they are losing their freedom, whereas it was one of the securest elections and what freedom were they losing? Upset over a new president for the next four year, get real. Blacks are the recipients of legitimate injustices on so many levels of systemic entrenched inequality. Who went to jail protesting to vote, police brutality, racism, and systemic racism? Blacks have had their freedom taken and enslaved for 400 years. Blacks are the only race who have been hanged more compared to any other racial group for pure pleasure.

Our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event. What we witnessed was not dissent, not disorder, it was not protesting, they were not protesters. They were a riotous, insurrectionist, domestic terrorists, and saying otherwise is false equivalents and shame on you.

With the incoming new administration, for our nation offers hope for ending Covid, better economy, etc. For Blacks, it is a beacon of hope and light, during a time of pain, despair, and darkness.

Let us Make America Great Again with accountability, integrity, and treat others the way you want to be treated.

Stephen Washington is a Natchez resident, who is concerned about racism, bigotry and injustice.