Capitol - Photo via Leah Millis, REUTERS

On Jan. 6, the United States Capitol was attacked by a large mob of Trump supporters. The group charged the Capitol building wearing Trump clothing and carrying Pro-Trump flags, as well as a confederate flag. The group was faced with little to no resistance from the Capitol Police. They smashed windows to break into the building and essentially had a field day inside, breaking and stealing various objects, as well as vandalizing the politicians’ offices.

The fact that the police were so nonviolent with these protestors — who many are calling domestic terrorists — has sparked a conversation across the country as to why people at the Black Lives Matter protests were not met with the same treatment.

After the death of George Floyd, people across the country rose up to protest police brutality against people of color and fight for equality, which is exactly what the Black Lives Matter movement stands for. While many of these protests were peaceful, a lot of them ended in violence, with protestors being shot at, tear gassed and beaten, despite whether they were peaceful or not.

The protestors at the Capitol and the Black Lives Matter protests were no doubt treated very differently. I think it’s important to understand why.

The two groups were treated so differently simply because of what Trump has normalized in America. He’s gained a cult following out of being disrespectful, bigoted and ignorant. Because of the way he’s acted as the leader of our country, he’s made a large majority of the nation think it’s completely acceptable to be just the same as he is and to rebel against one of the biggest things America stands for: democracy.

Trump has talked constantly about how the election was fraudulent and how he does not accept the results, and even went as far as to say he will be intentionally boycotting President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, something that hasn’t happened since 1869.

Trump making statements like these has shown Americans that it’s completely acceptable to fight democracy when it doesn’t go your way. In a video posted from his account on Twitter prior to his suspension, he tells the protestors, “Go home. We love you, you’re very special.”

This is very different from the response that Trump gave to protestors fighting for the Black Lives Matter movement. In one tweet regarding the protestors, Trump referred to them as “thugs” and continued on to say, “when the looting starts the shooting starts.”

What it comes down to is the fact that the Black Lives Matter protests were standing up against white supremacy, while the protests at the Capitol were the literal definition of white supremacy. And Trump supported the wrong one of the two.

Despite what he may say to appease the nation after the attacks at the Capitol, Donald Trump has shown time and time again that he commends white supremacy, while he condemns those who are fighting against it.

America has needed change for a long time, and whether or not Trump shows up to the inauguration, Joe Biden is going to be a step in the right direction for that change.

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