'They've killed us for less!': Black activists slam the disparity between responses to BLM demonstrators and pro-Trump rioters who breached US Capitol
- Outrage spread on social media as pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday during a march in protest of the presidential election results.
- Rioters clashed with police and broke into the US Capitol forcing a lockdown and causing lawmakers to evacuate.
- Many decried the disparity between responses to Black Lives Matter protests and the violent Trump supporters who injured police officers.
- "I'm remembering being brutalized and treated like a domestic terrorist just for protesting to keep my people alive," Rep. Cori Bush, a veteran Black Lives Matter activist, tweeted.
As Trump supporters ransacked the US Capitol many on social media condemned the apparent unequal response between the rioters in Washington, DC Wednesday and demonstrators at recent anti-racism protests.
Last year anti-racism protests ignited the country after the deaths and shootings of Black Americans at the hands of police including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake, Marcellis Stinnette, and Casey Goodson. Protesters were often met with a large police presence, facing armored vehicles, rubber bullets, and teargas.But on Wednesday afternoon, when rioters, participating in a "March for Trump" rally before Congress gathered to certify the 2020 election results, stormed into the US Capitol building forcing employees, media, and lawmakers to shelter in place and evacuate, many criticized how this breach could happen in the first place.
"In my experience in 50 years in law enforcement, this is unprecedented," former Secret Service Director John Magaw told USA Today.Videos show Trump supporters clashing with police and breaking into the US Capitol building where chaos escalated and a woman was fatally shot. Similar to recent anti-racism and police brutality protests, a citywide 6 p.m. curfew was announced in DC and the National Guard and Virginia National Guard troops were deployed to mediate the turmoil.
Shortly after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called on Trump to demand that all protestors leave the U.S. Capitol immediately, Trump released a one-minute video telling his supporters to go home. In the video, which was removed by Twitter, Trump furthered his baseless claims that he won the election over President-elect Joe Biden before he told the rioters that they are "very special.""This was a fraudulent election, but we can't play into the hands of these people," Trump said. "We have to have peace. So go home ... we love you, you're very special."The president's message to rioters starkly differed from his words to protestors around last year's protests, including a demonstration in DC last summer where people were sprayed with chemical agents.
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 8, 2020
—Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2020
Black activists, attornies, authors, and civil rights groups quickly pointed out the different responses met by peaceful demonstrators and people of color.
—Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) January 6, 2021
—NAACP (@NAACP) January 6, 2021
—Cori Bush (@CoriBush) January 6, 2021
—Derrick Johnson (@DerrickNAACP) January 6, 2021
—Elaine Welteroth (@ElaineWelteroth) January 6, 2021
Others called out the inequality of law enforcement response to the rioters who violently breached the Capitol and BLM protesters.
—Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) January 6, 2021
—Jasmeet Sidhu (@jasmeetsidhu_dc) January 6, 2021
—Sunsara Taylor (@SunsaraTaylor) January 6, 2021
—Sam Stein (@samstein) January 6, 2021
—Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) January 6, 2021
—Rex Chapman (@RexChapman) January 6, 2021
—ICE T (@FINALLEVEL) January 6, 2021
—Omar Jimenez (@OmarJimenez) January 6, 2021
Read more:Pro-Trump rioters gathered outside statehouses and lawmakers' homes nationwide
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