Hypocrisy in this Democracy


Photo provided by: Shelby Brunson

On Jan. 6 Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in protest of the certification of the electoral votes.

Shelby Brunson, Editor-in-Chief

At the beginning of 2021, most Americans were cheering for the end of the disastrous year of 2020. Instead, we were greeted by white privilege at its finest. Wednesday, Jan. 6, began with a historic senate race in Georgia and ended with a barrage of Trump supporters storming the United States Capitol. In an attempt to prevent the certification of president-elect Joe Biden’s victory, Trump supporters “protested” outside the Capitol. I use the word protest with trepidation because personally I think the words, riot, insurrection, and domestic terrorism are more fitting for what occurred that day. However, since there are media outlets covering it as a protest, I shall follow suit. 

Tens of thousands of “protestors” gathered outside the Capitol building while Congress was in session, and they were met with what seemed to be minimal security. A couple of months prior, peaceful Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests were met with rubber bullets and tear gas from the national guard so Trump could take a picture with an upside down Bible. Although some ignorant and borderline racist Americans have the audacity to compare those two incidences, they are not the same. To be clear, stealing a key chain from Target is not the same thing as stealing Nancy Pelosi’s podium from inside the Congressional chamber. 

The way the “protest” at the Capitol was handled was a mockery to people of color (POC) everywhere. If peaceful POC protesters were anywhere near the Capitol building, the number of armed police presence would have tripled and demonstrators would have been shot as soon as they charged the steps. Even the rhetoric after the fact would have been different. BLM demonstrators were labeled gangsters, thugs, and agitators for fighting for their right to be treated like their white counterparts. The domestic terrorists, on the other hand, who brought molotovs, zip ties, and pipe bombs to the Capitol, were called “special”. People of color, who only wish for their government to uphold the ideals of justice and liberty that this country was supposedly founded on, are labeled extremist. In contrast, those who threw a tantrum after losing a fairly held election, were told that they were loved. Although this dichotomy is not new, it is exhausting.

Those who state that the Black Lives Matter protests lasted months, while the Capitol insurrection was only a day, are forgetting that 93 percent of protests were peaceful. Even the 7 percent that were not docile did not end in the death of a police officer. The Capital riot did. A Capitol police officer died and yet arrests had not started taking place until a week after. Meanwhile, BLM protesters were getting pulled into unmarked vans by federal officers while attempting to march for equality. These two incidences should not be compared, but if they are, it should not be in the defense of white supremacists. 

I would be remiss if I said I was not screaming “shoot them” at my TV while domestic terrorists entered the Capitol with rifles and pipe bombs. I knew POC protesters had been shot for much less. Not only do I recognize my hypocrisy, but I also recognize that is not truly what I had wanted. What I do want, and what other people of color across the nation want, is for armed forces not to shoot us, the way you do not shoot them.