By Aimee, South Kern Sol

On Wednesday, terrorists stormed the U.S Capitol, which caused an unbelievable amount of mayhem; however, Even after all the chaos, danger and damage they caused, they were met with little to no resistance from law enforcement.

In fact law enforcement let their guard down and in some instances cooperated with them by taking pictures with them and even allowed them through without putting up much of a fight. 

Now the Black Lives Matter protests were a completely different story. During the movement over the summer of 2020, large groups peacefully protested and were still met with more violence. Do I dare say it was because of the color of their skin?

During Black Lives Matter protests, protestors were pepper sprayed by law enforcement just so President Trump could take a photo while holding the Bible upside down; however, law enforcement allowed these terrorists — and yes, we mean terrorists — at the the US Capital to pepper spray them.

And how can any of us forget the horrifying image of law enforcement pushing down an old man so hard, it caused him to bleed from his skull during a BLM protest? This is a completely different image of the officer helping an elderly woman down the stairs of the US Capital.

Not to mention when President Trump addressed the Black Lives Matter protests, he referred to protesters  as “thugs.” But when he acknowledged the dangerous mobbing of the U.S Capitol, he showed his admiration by saying, “…We love you, you’re very special…”

In every aspect there was an extreme double standard where the protestors fighting against systemic injustice were demonized and the men and women who went on a terror spree inside of a federal building were let off with less than a slap on the wrist. 

When the Black Lives Matter protests were occuring, President Trump made it abundantly clear that, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” But when the Capitol was stormed it seemed as if nobody went to such extremes to make a threat.

Now, we aren’t advocating for law enforcement to shoot the terrorists like they shoot the BLM protestors. We are asking them to not shoot the BLM protestors like they don’t shoot the terrorists mobbing the US Capital.

You may notice, we keep using the word “terrorist.” It you look at what happened Wednesday, the rioters’ actions seem to fit what a terrorist does, which is use unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

Going back to the Summer of 2020, why does a random Target store in Minnesota hold more priority than the U.S Capitol? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the Black Lives Matter protests included people of color, whereas the storming of the U.S Capitol was predominantly white people.

I will just come out and say it. Trespassing and damaging federal property was a form of white privilege. They had the ability to enter with no problem and quite frankly no consequence, but peaceful protestors of color were tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, and experienced violence from law enforcement on multiple occasions. 

Another difference I noticed was that President Trump was proactive in ending the peaceful protests, but inactive when it came to halting his supporters. He was so quick to call the National Guard to protect the U.S Capitol during the Black Lives Matter protests, but when the Capitol truly needed protection he chose to hand over the responsibility to Vice President, Mike Pence. 

Right-wingers storming the Capitol in hopes of stopping the democratic process was a threat to our fragile democracy, yet the Black Lives Matter protesters were treated as the real criminals. In actuality, the real thugs were the people who made the conscious choice to exhibit terrifying and ludicrous behaviors that are not in any way acceptable nor patriotic as they believe. 

All in all, we don’t ask for you to shoot them the way you shot us, but rather you don’t shoot us the way you didn’t shoot them.