A vast mob of rioters breached the U.S. Capitol building this week after President Trump asked them personally to march on the People’s House to protest the results of the 2020 election.
“We’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue,” the president said Wednesday. “We’re going to the Capitol, and we’re going to try and give … our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.”
Weirdly enough, following the violent chaos that ensued, several people have used the deadly clashes as an opportunity to allege systemic racial bias by the U.S. Capitol Police and police departments in general, asserting with total certainty that the rioters would have been dispatched far more violently, killed even, had they been black.
This ignores both what happened Wednesday and what we saw last summer from law enforcement officials in Washington D.C., during the widespread anti-police riots.
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true, and it is unacceptable,” President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday.
Former CIA acting and Deputy Director Michael Morell told CBS News, “There is no doubt in my mind that if those were Black Lives Matter protesters yesterday breaking into the Capitol building, there would be dozens and dozens of people dead today.”
Really? “No doubt” at all?
“When white people attempt a coup,” Black Lives Matter Global Network said elsewhere in a statement of its own, “they are met by an underwhelming number of law enforcement personnel who act powerless to intervene, going so far as to pose for selfies with terrorists, and prevent an escalation of anarchy and violence like we witnessed today.”
“Make no mistake,” the statement concludes, “if the protesters were Black, we would have been tear-gassed, battered, and perhaps shot.”
But here’s the thing: Many of the predominately white rioters in Washington this week were battered. They were tear-gassed. One woman was even shot and killed by Capitol Police after she attempted to force her way through a window. An estimated 60 police officers were injured, including 15 hospitalized. One is in critical condition. There were pitched skirmishes. There was violence. Law enforcement officials were beaten. There were multiple, ultimately unsuccessful, attempts by the greatly outnumbered police officers to bar rioters from storming the Capitol, physically and violently.
It’s one thing to believe police departments are prejudiced in favor of white people. But [ … ]