The Difference the World Sees: The Attack on the Capitol Vs. BLM Protests

Callie Emmans, Staff Writer

Besides the January 6th attack on the United States capitol being an intense history-making moment within itself, the controversy it sparked afterward is consuming social media and fueling new discussions. People across Twitter, news outlets, and other platforms are stunned at the difference in response to this attack versus the response to the Black Lives Matter protests that took place in the summer of 2020. Whether one thinks this difference is prominent or not, it has the entire world talking about race and inequality when it comes to the way the police handled these two situations.

Looking at it from an unbiased perspective, the Capitol raiders were able to access one of the most important government buildings in the United States without major injury, while Black Lives Matter protestors were maced, shot with rubber bullets, and beaten, with over 20 dead and 14,0000 arrested, for just walking the streets in large numbers.

This difference could also be partially explained by the two distinct preparation times. The Black Lives Matter protests went on for months, and were usually broadly spoken about and planned beforehand. This huge attack on the Capitol happened a lot faster, and the National Guard wasn’t able to arrive until well over an hour later.

D.C. officials, as well as local and federal law enforcement, are pointing fingers when it comes to who to blame for the lack of Military response at the capitol. According to NBC, a spokesperson for Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office claimed that the National Guard’s delay in arrival after violence ensued as well as the overall response was at fault of the Army secretary. They say that the Army secretary set the National Guard troop numbers to 300, and decided against armored vehicles which is why the fingers are being pointed towards the secretary.

Another huge factor in the controversy is former president Donald Trump. Trump released a series of tweets and videos amidst the riots, asking rioters to leave the building while also calling them “special” and telling them they are “loved”. Trump was even banned from Twitter and other internet sources after the capital attack for inciting violence. During his speech that took place before the riot, he urged his supporters to “fight like hell” which could have fueled this fire. These kind words towards the rioters are being compared to the president’s response to the BLM protests, where Trump would often tweet things like “when the looting starts the shooting starts,” and calling protestors “thugs” while saying they were dishonoring George Floyd’s memory.
What is the conclusion people are drawing about the differences they saw? Racism. Many believe that the difference in force is due to the fact that the police wouldn’t hurt people of their own skin color. Black lives matter protestors all over the world are infuriated because they feel as if the country is taking a huge step backward.