As the Biden-Harris government takes over the administration of the United States, it reminds me of the Capitol Hill coup that Donald Trump instigated 15 days ago to hinder the democratic process of transferring of power.
On January 6, 2021, countries witnessed one of the most violent attacks on the Capitol Building of the world’s most revered and idealised democracy. Supporters of incumbent US President Donald Trump breached the security of the Capitol complex to hinder the counting of electoral votes in progress that was to ultimately result in the declaration of Democrat Joe Biden as the next elected President of the United States.
The attack was a result of instigating speeches by Trump who had asked his supporters to conduct a wild protest and march collectively towards the democratic institution to call out the fraud in the presidential elections, an unproved claim Trump has been making ever since the election result came out in 2020. The attack left four people dead and the globe awestruck with the breaching of democratic processes in a country always looked highly upon.
Apart from an attempted coup by a mob in one of the oldest democracies in the world, what left everyone shocked was the utter and overt display of racial discrimination in the handling of the Capitol siege when compared to the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in June 2020. Videos and pictures from January 6 shared all over the internet displayed how cops guarding the Capitol Hill let the violent protestors climb the walls of the building, get into the complex easily, and invade the Senate chamber and the House speaker’s office to overturn a free and fair election process.
While the security of the nation’s lawmakers and leaders was at stake, the police were shown clicking selfies with the insurrection crowd. The events that followed the insurrection included a few dozen arrests in the case and cops escorting some attackers out of the building without any handcuffs.
Netizens and advocates could not help but notice the response of the law enforcement in controlling the Capitol attack as compared to the BLM protests that happened last year. While the former attack showed incompetency of the police in protecting the Capitol Hill, BLM protests in large parts of America witnessed military personnel and troops armed with rifles to guard showrooms, highways and political institutions of the country.
While the protests were largely peaceful throughout the country — with occasional breaching of the laws and occurring violence — those protesting the death of George Floyd and other wrongfully executed African Americans were met with harshness by state authorities, with the President himself threatening imprisonment of a minimum of 10 years under the Statues and Monuments Act.
The protestors were met with rubber bullets, tear gas and Army helicopters swooping low over their heads, forcing them to leave only because they were fighting for their right to live. The key difference as one could easily point out was that the BLM protests were largely supported by African Americans and their allies, while the recent incident was an overwhelming mob of white Americans supporting Donald Trump and his theory of election fraud.
The episode, as many say, is one of the most unpretentious and basic displays of a racial double standard in the US’ modern history. This clearly displayed the societal pattern that downplays the grief of the oppressed section and puts the beliefs of the supremacist class above the browbeaten. While the violence of white supremacists in America was romanticised in the name of nationalism, those participating in the BLM protests were considered invaders and terrorists trying to upturn the law and order by the state.
Many believe that the white supremacist race of Trump supporters are a big reason why they could breach the security of the Capitol complex in the first place and come out of it alive. Had it been a violent crowd of African Americans, they would have been shot at in the name of defending the security of the state and those who represent it.
The incident from January 6 puts on display the inherent discrimination at work that has been set across the world where supremacists and oppressed classes are governed by different sets of non-binding rules and regulations, under which these groups are treated leniently by the law enforcement agencies.
Note: The article was originally published here.