Protests, Race, and Crime
On January 6th, far-right groups attacked the U.S. Capitol. What started out as a protest for Trump and against Biden entering office, turned into chaos. The people who stormed the capitol were part of different far-right groups who had clearly planned for this while some protesters had no idea it was going to become violent. How come the government was not prepared for the worst? BLM protesters were met with national guard members and police officers in case things escalated. Why didn’t the U.S. government prepare for violence and possibly a worst-case scenario such as what happened?
While no one expected the violence, there were signs of violence and some planned attack. In late December, the NYPD sent a packet of material to the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington Field Office of the FBI. The materials included various information from social media sites indicating there is a likelihood of violence on January 6th. My personal opinion is better to be safe than sorry. At this point the U.S. Government should have started planning how to increase security on that day.
On Monday, January 4th, the Metropolitan Police Department arrested Enrique Tarrio - a leader of Proud Boys, a far-right group. He was charged with destruction of property and possession of high-capacity firearm magazines but was free to leave the next day and told to leave D.C. On January 5th, the FBI Field Office in Norfolk, Virginia issued a warning that extremists plan for violence. There were so many warning signs however it wasn’t really acted on. Yes, there was a police presence but they were not prepared for the attack nor was there enough security.
When the Black Lives Matter movement announced they were protesting around DC and right near the White House, the President chose to employ the national guard and maximize security. I do understand why it is important to have extra security during protests in case they get out of hand, however the BLM protesters were just speaking up and acting on their First Amendment. There was no rumor that violence was going to break out at these protests. But when you have maximum security at one event, you need maximum security at the other event too. To me it looks like a clear example of racism. To think of African Americans as “criminals” and that they need to be tamed and held accountable but when white far-right group members display antisemitism at the capitol and storm the U.S. Capitol with guns they are the criminals and should be held accountable.
It is unacceptable that these groups aren’t being held accountable to the fullest extent. There were so many symbols of white supremacy as well as a clear display of anti-Semitism. These groups were also carrying weapons which is illegal. They stormed the Capitol and destructed property, and federal land. If BLM protesters did this, they would all be sent to prison and not be posting bail or released the next day like the Proud Boys leader was.