When White People Riot

They Were Just a Little Exuberant

It’s well known that white people don’t riot; that’s a Black thing. White people get a little overexcited at times, like when their team wins (or loses) a Super Bowl or a college national championship. They might cause a little incidental damage like burning buildings or police cars. But generally speaking, it’s just boys (and some girls) being boys, not like those thuggish Black people who get mad when unarmed Black people get shot in the back seven times or with their hands raised.

In June of 2020, Black Lives Matter organized a protest at the Capitol in response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes, including a couple of minutes after another officer said he wasn’t breathing. Floyd was suspected of trying to pass a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. Black Lives Matter got permits and conducted an orderly march and protest. Law enforcement had a massive presence, including the Capitol Police, Washington D.C. Police, and the National Guard pictured below protecting the Lincoln Memorial.

On January 6, 2021, white rioters (I mean protesters) accepted the President’s invitation to come to Washington and try to prevent Congress from officially tallying the Electoral College votes, confirming Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. They gathered near the White House and heard comments from the President and others before walking to the Capitol and storming it, interrupting a session of Congress and overwhelming the Capitol Police (the ones that weren’t taking selfies with the mob) and infiltrating the building.

Many of the rioters (I mean patriots) were armed because freedom demands that they use Second Amendment remedies to resolve their always justifiable grievances. Last May in Michigan, protesters (I mean active citizens) brought their guns inside the Michigan Capitol to show their resentment to the Governor trying to save lives during a pandemic. They were allowed to bring their guns inside but not their signs because… well, I don’t know why but that’s Michigan law.

There was once a time when Black people in California took their guns to the Capitol. White people went crazy, and the unlikely coalition of Ronald Reagan, Democrats, Republicans, and the NRA passed the Mulford Act, which was used selectively to take guns out of the hands of Black people.

“I see no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons; guns are a ridiculous way to solve problems that have to be solved among people of goodwill. The Mulford Act will work no hardship on the honest citizen.” — Ronald Reagan.

In talking with other Black people, the Capitol events to protest Donald Trump’s defeat were nothing less than a full-fledged riot. To some Republicans, they were much less than that:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” — Donald Trump.

“There’s a lot of people calling for the end of violence. There’s a lot of conservatives, social media who say that any violence or aggression at all is unacceptable. Regardless of the circumstances. I’m glad Sam Adams, Thomas Paine, the actual tea party guys, the men at Lexington and Concord didn’t feel that way.” — Rush Limbaugh.

Just as they were after the violent riot (I mean disturbance) in Charlottesville, where a woman was run over and killed, those in power were able to see the good on both sides, and we were told to ignore those with confederate flags and klan robes. White people have no fear of the police, and at the US Capitol were seen assaulting the Capitol Police to break into the people’s house because they had little fear of being gunned down. As many others have said before me, “if they had been Black people?”

Some arrests were made during and after the assault on the Capitol, mostly for trespassing and other weak charges. A woman was killed while attempting to climb through a broken window. Three others died from “medical emergencies.” In most jurisdictions, participants in the riot (unruly meeting) and those that instigated it could be charged with murder. Trump said he could shoot somebody on 5th Ave. and get away with it. Getting someone shot in the Capitol is a little different.

What white people do is never called rioting because they understand they have little to riot about. They don’t have to fight for civil rights and voting rights. Since 1920 when women got to vote, white people had all the rights, and everyone else had to try to get theirs. There has never been a proposed white people ban like there was for Muslims. No internment camps for white people. I didn’t see any use of dogs at the Capitol like those used at the Edmund Pettus Bridge against Martin Luther King and John Lewis. White people had to literally make up tales of a stolen election to have something to riot (loudly object) about. Technically, just a few white people, including the President and two leading Senators, made up the lies; the rest just believed them.

When Black people protest, the establishment will make up new laws to ensure those activities aren’t soon to be repeated. We’ll soon see whether even applicable laws, other than trespassing, apply to those trying to overthrow the country?

Writer, poet, wannabe philosopher. I write about politics, history, race, and social justice. Support me at https://ko-fi.com/williamfspivey0680

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