As soon as I saw the infamously shared photo of a redneck with his boots up on the table of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it was evident white supremacy and white privilege were the true motivators of these Capitol riots. The smugness of this domestic terrorist as he acknowledged his own power alongside the thousand other rioters who felt that carrying an American flag and their whiteness were pacifiers to their oblivious aggression, are indicators of the undeniable existence of white privilege embedded in the justice system and police interactions.
The mere possibility that thousands of deeply angered Trump supporters, most of which were white, could overrun the Capitol with little police aggression is in itself one of the modern day’s greatest displays of preference towards white people. While Black Lives Matter supporters were villainized, criminalized and subjected to intense police violence for a movement that in essence is a call for attention to this exact behavior, white people were able to storm one of our nation’s most important buildings and be peacefully led out. Beyond the clear comparison, this riot could be compared to previous instances of white outrage to socially liberal advancements. The Capitol riots also showcase just how entitled some white Americans feel to the American government.
Speaking on a more psychological level, the Capitol riots indicated that white people who fall victim to white supremacy and white privilege harbor a deep sense of entitlement to American society, American government and further confuse the autonomy of Black and brown Americans as property to America. It is evident they feel as if that Capitol building is theirs or ought to be theirs, and that their objections to the Black Lives Matter movement is their entitlement being challenged as they view the livelihoods of Black and brown Americans under their ownership and opinion.
What’s even worse than these white supremacists viciously displaying their white privilege is that they were allowed to do so and televised the entire time. Within that one day on Jan. 6, the general public has once again normalized white anger and domination and institutionalized the response to such terrorism to be peaceful, simply for the fact that they are white and have societal power. It was once again indoctrinated into history that when white rioters act out, the police will stand by, but when Black people protest, they are beaten.
As we move forward from 2021’s early slap in the face to Black and brown Americans, it is particularly critical that we hold the Biden administration accountable in their response to these acts of white aggression. The current response and current attitude is not nearly enough nor is it on par to how the government would have responded had this been Black rioters. Not only must we seek out each and every one of these domestic terrorists, it is imperative that there be a mentality shift in American bureaucracy and government so as to here on out always adequately and quickly respond to white terrorism. There must be a separate committee of government that prioritizes the threat of white supremacy as America’s closest and greatest foe. As this country becomes more Hispanic, more brown and less white, our government must represent this and subsequently implement and protect our rights. It is a necessity that white aggression is met with governmental and punitive action, for this is the moment in history where we institutionalize serious consequences to white supremacy as opposed to the undeniable insensitive normalization that occured on Jan. 6.