Mike Pence, Kamala Harris.
Aja Hannah, The Independent
I said this would happen. I knew that Trump’s dog-whistling rally speeches would incite actual, en masse violence if they continued unchecked. During the count of the Electoral College votes for the 2020 presidential election, “protesters” broke through barricades and went into the Capitol building after a “Save America” march presided over by our president.
To make this more clear: Armed, white domestic terrorists stormed into a federal building where elected officials were conducting business. Guns were drawn. One person was shot. Congressmen and women were evacuated from the building and taken into secure locations. Then these insurgents sat down in the chamber and waved flags. Others continued to stand outside on the steps and take photos, some even getting selfies with police officers. They proclaimed their intent to stay in the Capitol building overnight and prevent President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris from being officially declared the democratic winners of the election. Finally, the National Guard and police from neighboring states like Maryland and Virginia were called in to help.
Let’s rewind to this summer when Black people across the country were tear-gassed, shot at with rubber bullets and beaten for peacefully protesting, for raising their voices and their signs in dissent. Police were prepared to do this and ordered teargas to have on hand. They were more than ready, heavily armed, to take on those unarmed people.
On Wednesday, DC police knew this rally was happening. They knew Trump supporters had come from across the country to support their president. They knew there would be protests, with the possibility of riots. Somehow, somehow, these white people were still able to walk into Congress while it was in session. They weren’t beaten. They were not immediately tear-gassed as they went inside, smashing windows.
The last time the National Guard were used in DC was in the summer of 2020. Specifically, they were used by the president to tear-gas peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters on Lafayette Square so that he could take a picture with a bible in front of St John’s church.
Why hesitate? Why not treat every protester equally?
Will these people in DC be arrested for domestic terrorism or charged with a federal crime? Will it go like the Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016, where we all knew that if the people had been Black, they would’ve been “taken care of” swiftly?
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and multiple commentators are now calling on Mike Pence to work with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment. Doing so would remove the president immediately for failing to do his basic political duties. But taking Trump out of office will not stop him from tweeting or holding rallies. It will not stop his base from acting on his behalf because “the election was stolen”; perhaps seeing him fail to even make it to January 20 will even embolden them.
Across the country, these Trump supporters gathered at Capitol buildings in other states like Atlanta, Denver, and Topeka tonight. Thankfully, there has been no reported violence in these local areas so far.
This is not just an issue of a double standard between BLM protesters and white, Republican rioters. It is an issue of safety and justice. Black people asking for accountability when police are violent were met with violence from police. White people attempting to stop an election by force is met with sympathy and seemingly unprepared officers. That’s an issue for everyone in America who values their own security.
Tell me the future. Tell me about equality. Tell me about justice.
Meanwhile, I will pack a bag and hold onto my family’s passports. I will watch a country that insists all lives matter equally until I see that mine matters.
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