The angry mob we saw overtaking the United States Capitol on January 6 should horrify every American. It was nothing short of an attack on our democracy and an insurrection aimed at preventing a peaceful transition of power.
It was also a vivid display of law enforcement’s double standard. When Americans marched to protest the treatment of Black citizens by police, they were met with rubber bullets, tear gas, and arrests. On January 6, we saw a White mob vandalizing the Capitol for hours before the authorities tried to take back control. Only a few dozen rioters were arrested, a stark contrast to law enforcement’s response during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Washington D.C., when more than 400 peaceful protesters were jailed - some without due process.
According to the Washington Post, “for veteran social justice demonstrators, the images of men and women wearing red Trump 2020 hats and clutching American and Confederate flags walking through the Capitol largely unmolested came as shocking yet predictable evidence of their long-held suspicions that conservative, White protesters intent on violence would not be met with any of the strong-arm tactics that police brutality protesters faced.”
It is time for law enforcement to stop giving a free pass to White Americans who commit acts of violence. And it is time for all of us, as individuals and The Center as an organization, to examine our own consciences, recognize where we fall short in recognizing white supremacy, and take steps to dismantle it.