Terrorism and Privilege


January 6, 2021 will go down in history as the biggest disgrace this country has faced. Rioters stormed the nation’s Capital and threatened America’s democracy. In the words of Vice President Mike Pence, “To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today, you did not win. Violence never wins. Freedom wins. They tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.”

About an hour before the final electoral count to certify Joe Biden as the next president, President Trump held a rally for himself. He spoke to his people with false information, suggesting that he in fact did win the November Presidential election. He referred to the election as an “egregious assault on our democracy,” then told them to “Walk down to the Capitol, we are going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women, and we are probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them — because you will never take back our country with weakness.” 

There is no question that his words incited this mob. His supporters did just as he asked. They marched to the Capitol, draped in Trump flags, charging the front doors with such anger. Some were even armed, which is not only extremely dangerous but also illegal in Washington, DC. Congressmen and women were rushed out and into safety. Guards stood their post and barricaded the doors. 

They made it. These trump supporters stormed the nation’s Capital and actually succeeded. They got into the chambers and congressmen and women’s private offices. Confidential papers were stolen and these people took selfies sitting in their chairs. One man, Richard Barnett, sat in Nancy Pelosi’s private office, took selfies of himself, wrote her a distasteful, to say the least, note on her desk, and stole a letter, which he later stated to a reporter outside the Capitol he didn’t steal because he left a quarter in its place. 

Pence spoke on national television in rebuttal to President Trump’s speech, in which he praised the mob. Trump was unprofessional and misinformed in multiple aspects. But the most upsetting aspect of everything that happened was the blatant display of white privilege. 

For months peaceful Black Lives Matter protests were tear-gassed and shot at while these white men and women stormed the nation’s Capital and were escorted by police officers. Multiple videos have surfaced of cops taking selfies with rioters, and one even walked a woman who made it in the house down the stairs of the Capitol to “safety.” 

Imagine the reaction the police officers would have had if these rioters were people of color. Every single one would have been tear-gassed, shot at, or arrested. I am not saying that the cops should have tear-gassed and shot at the rioters, but the fact that they did at peaceful Black Lives Matter protests, but not at this insurrection is a perfect example of white privilege in this country. For some comparison under 100 rioters were arrested and 4 deaths accounted for at the Capitol last week, while 14,000 were arrested and over 19 died at a George Floyd peaceful protest in Minneapolis shortly after his death. 

This was an unheard of, unacceptable event, yet it happened anyway and will go down in history as the first unpeaceful transfer of presidency in the United States of America. 

image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2021_storming_of_the_United_States_Capitol_09_(cropped).jpg

Leave a Reply