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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Capitol siege was a result of racism in America

By Sophia Pu | Staff Writer

Photo by Stephanie Keith/File Photo

   On Jan. 6, a rally for former President Donald Trump turned into a mob that violently sieged the Capitol. Participants claimed to be “saving America” and “stopping the steal” of votes for former President Trump. In truth, the real reason was racism.

   Before the siege, the mob, largely white and male, was stirred to a frenzy about losing the election and their white privilege. 

   “You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump told his followers before the riot. “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

   In response to the Black Lives Matter protests, Trump proclaimed himself the “President of Law and Order”, and ordered dozens of National Guard troops to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Yet during the insurrection, it took two hours for those same troops to arrive at the Capitol.

   In a CNN report, only 61 rioters were arrested on the day of the siege. This is in contrast to the 316 Black Lives Matter protesters arrested on June 1, 2020, the 133 protesters for LGBTQ+ rights arrested on Oct. 8, 2019, and the 147 climate change protestors arrested on Jan. 10, 2020.

   “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday,” said President Joe Biden in a statement on Jan. 7, “they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable.”

   Though videos show some rioters carrying Blue Lives Matter flags, Brian Sicknick, a Capitol police officer, died from a blood clot in his brain after he was hit with a fire extinguisher. Sixty other officers were injured, with videos and reports showing officers being chased up stairs, trapped in doorways, and hit with metal bars. The level of disrespect towards the officers shows that the former President and his followers never cared about blue lives, they were just afraid of losing their white supremacy.

   In addition to the Blue Lives Matter flags that were being waved, there were also Nazi symbols, Proud Boy memorabilia, nooses, Confederate flags, and Q-anon logos. There is no explanation as to why Nazi flags, Confederate flags, and nooses are racist. Their very presence at the Capitol shows that the insurrectionists are proud about the mass genocide Jewish and black people suffered.

   This blatant racism has become normalized in the United States, a country that prides itself on being a place of freedom and equality. The impeachment of Trump on Jan. 13 for inciting the insurrection was a necessary statement to show that the nation will no longer tolerate such behavior.

   However, even with Trump impeached and out of office, the deep-rooted racism in our country remains. Social media platforms like 4chan propagate conspiracies and white nationalism, pushing those who subscribe to it to an almost irreversible extent of racism. Without active regulations on social media content, people will only stray further from each other’s own humanity.

   There will always be those who are inconvincible and unforgivable, all of which should be held accountable. However, some still have reason, and it may only require communication between far-right citizens and the people they fear to heal what feels like the Divided States of America. Nelson Mandela’s truth and reconciliation commission proved to help South Africa, and there is no reason why America should not listen to other countries for once.

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Capitol siege was a result of racism in America