March on D.C. by pro-Trump supporters proves white supremacy reigns supreme

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ABC News

ABC News telecast shows protesters storming the Capitol building as tensions rise between pro-Trump supporters and the federal government.

By Kelly Tran, Henry W. Grady High School

As Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff election results came pouring in last night and today, the nation’s attention rapidly shifted away from the paramount Peach State. Today at 2:15 p.m., supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College vote certification, creating an environment in Washington, D.C. rife with violence and hypocrisy.

The lack of initial action by the Metropolitan Police and Capitol Police and their allowance of rioters supporting Trump’s false election claims to enter the Capitol without a show of force is another clear example of the racism, hypocrisy and white supremacy that remains in this country.

On the day of Congress’s electoral vote count, Trump supporters stormed the building “in  protest,” scaling the walls of the Capitol. Police officers deployed tear gas to deter protesters’ fervor; however, the lackluster government response to the increasingly volatile and violent mob stands in stark contrast to their response to the mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement protests over the summer.

These protesters stormed Congress and proceeded to seize and frolic around one of the highest offices in the land as if it were a McDonald’s jungle gym, blatantly disrespecting hundreds of years of history and sanctity in the name of false claims about a rigged election. Despite what the rioters might say, these claims have been proved false time and time again by The Hill, The New York Times and multiple other reputable news outlets.

Americans have sat in shock, rage and disbelief all afternoon at the proceedings and events that unfolded on Capitol Hill. While the National Guard has been deployed, this flagrant disrespect of one of the strongholds of democracy, along with unprecedented chaos and violence, resulting in the death of a woman on Capitol grounds, are telling of the widespread white supremacy that grips this nation. The riots depict a debilitating loss to American dignity and the dignity of American institutions.

When activists marched for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor this summer, they were described as “criminals” and “thugs.” Although the majority of protesters were peaceful, they were still met with violence and hostility. Today’s events weren’t peaceful protest–this was an attempted overthrow of legitimate election results. So why was the response by armed forces tonight so comparably weak?

Marginalized communities nationwide bear witness to the Capitol’s desecration by disillusioned protesters. What happened today could not be a clearer example of how white privilege has protected protesters from meeting the fate of what BLM activists had to endure.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, white supremacy and violence “is on the rise and spreading geographically.” The consequences of the power of whiteness have clearly and repeatedly insulted, belittled and scorned the political institutions of this nation. Whiteness, for many, has become synonymous with lack of consequence, supported and endorsed by President Trump.

So as we enter the era of a new presidency, and a new Democratic House and Senate, the people and politicians of the United States must endure and must continue to acknowledge the advantages and privileges of whiteness. We must continue to realize the danger of allowing white privilege to preclude responsibility and to protect the democratic offices of this nation from the fascism and hate that is being spread like Covid-19. We must endure for equality, dignity and justice. Above all, we must endure for democracy and for the future of this country.

This story was originally published on The Southerner on January 6, 2021.