The attack on the U.S. Capitol exposes the truth about terrorism in America

On+Jan.+6%2C+thousands+of+loyal+Trump+supporters+attacked+the+nation%27s+Capitol+in+an+attempt+to+overturn+the+results+of+the+2020+presidential+election.

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On Jan. 6, thousands of loyal Trump supporters attacked the nation’s Capitol in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

By Delaney Crawley, Richard Montgomery High School - MD

If the recent assault on our Capitol has done anything at all, it clearly showed the glaring double standards in modern-day America.

The media labels white school shooters and suicide bombers as “complex individuals” with extensive justifications for their actions. However, when the perpetrator of a crime is a person of color, the cry “terrorism” is the only thing that is heard, projecting a dangerous persona onto this group of Americans. This often leads to innocent Muslim families being attacked, or Black and Hispanic individuals subjected to stop and frisk policies simply because they “looked dangerous”, even though they are less likely to commit these heinous acts than their white counterparts.

So when Donald Trump takes to national television to tell white supremacists and domestic terrorists “we love you, you’re very special,” it is not only unimaginably frightening but a devastating blow to people of color everywhere.

The fact that these white rioters can storm the Capitol, wielding weapons and hate symbols, is disturbing. They were able to go as far as to break windows and doors, wave Confederate and extremist symbols and tear through secure offices. Not even when the United States was at war with these two regimes did the enemy flag traipse through the halls of our government, yet these so-called “patriots” waved them with pride last Wednesday.

More disappointing than anything was the clear support these rioters received from Capitol and D.C. law enforcement. When compared with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement last summer, the domestic-terrorists were treated with respect and encouragement from the police. According to the Los Angeles Times, as of  Jan. 7, only 82 people have been arrested by U.S Capitol Police, with 64 of those arrests due to curfew violations.

The huge disparity between the data from the Capitol riots and the 2020 BLM protests is alarming. Nearly 300 peaceful protesters were arrested on June. 1, the first night of demonstrations. The Bureau of Prisons, D.C. Police and U.S. Marshals Service were just a few of the massive number of governmental organizations inciting violence, tear gassing citizens and making unlawful arrests.

It is time to stop pretending that Trump has nothing to do with this. If his actions against BLM protests and his unwillingness to condemn the Capitol attack do not prove it, then his words do. “Anarchists, agitators, or protesters who vandalize or damage our Federal Courthouse in Portland, or any Federal Buildings in any of our cities or states will be prosecuted,” Trump tweeted on July 27, 2020.

He deems freedom fighters “THUGS” and has no problem exacting violence on peaceful groups. He has quoted dangerous and antiquated racist phrases like “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and stated himself “they would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen.” Throughout his presidency, he has made clear his agenda against people of color and their attempts to push for racial equality in America, preferring we return to a time of white supremacy.

Yet, when it comes to his supporters, he is the first to assure them that “the election was stolen from them,” and he will “never concede.” He is the first to tell them to take the Capitol and fight for “four more years.” He is also the last to employ the National Guard and denounce the acts of this mob. The President of the United States himself told the Proud Boys, a neo-fascist terrorist group, to “stand back and stand by,” unable to decry even those who advocate for racial cleansing.

“You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated, that is so bad and so evil,” were some of the words Trump chose to use when telling his supporters to go home. This direct comparison to these ambiguous “others” reveals to America that Trump is fine if protesters for racial inequality are attacked and killed, but god forbid anything happens to his loyal fan base.

Donald Trump fuels the fire of white supremacy groups and conspiracists like QAnon and the Klu Klux Klan, deepening America’s divide and allowing the inferno to grow uncontrollable. If the past four years of chaos have not been enough to highlight Trump’s prejudice, then the chain of events this past Wednesday should be enough to open the eyes of all Americans.

This story was originally published on The Tide on January 13, 2021.