No, You Can’t Compare BLM Protests to the Capitol Riots

No, You Can't Compare BLM Protests to the Capitol Riots

Tavishi Chattopadhyay, Staff Writer

This is an opinion article piece. Tavishi Chattopadhyay is a sophomore at Mendham who writes for the Global and School News. All opinions expressed in the following editorial are her own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Patriot.

It’s been about a month since the capitol riots and as the impeachment trial and arrests continue, let’s make one thing clear. Stop comparing Black Lives Matter protests to the capitol riots, it’s incredibly disrespectful to the BLM protestors and their cause along with the fact that BLM protests and the capitol riots share no connections. 

In 2020, there was public outrage over the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Talyor, and Elijah McClain. These murders were performed by the police for no actual reason other than the fact that the officers were racist or acting on racial bias. BLM protests sparked up around the country, gathering a lot of news coverage and opening up the discussion about Black Lives Matter. In short, BLM is about protesting the systemic racism that is so deeply ingrained in our society and country’s foundations that key facts concerning the oppression of black people are left out of our history books. For instance, after the Civil War, a group in the South arose. This group was made up of women who had family members in the Confederacy who worked to keep an “unjust portrayal of the Confederacy” out of history books and lessons. These women were called the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Meanwhile, the capitol riots were about people being mad that their old white guy didn’t win over the other old white guy who happens to be more progressive than the other old white guy. Struggling to see how BLM protests in any way can be compared to the capitol riots. 

One argument in favor of the capitol riots is that they were the same as BLM protests in terms of violence. This comes from the media’s portrayal of the BLM protests, which is often dramatic and incorrect. In reality, as a Harvard study found, BLM protests are almost completely nonviolent and in fact violence is often directed towards them. The capitol riots were also much more violent as proven by the footage of the events. Rioters were carrying weapons, for example there was a man who was carrying a taser in his pants. Rioters were dressed in camouflage and during the riots police officers were injured and killed because of rioters. There was much more violence involved in these riots than there were in the BLM protests. This violence that the rioters participated in was staged at the capitol, where government officials and buildings are. Which makes their violence much worse, as it was an act of terrorism since these people were set on attacking  and intimidating government officials.

Another common argument is that the capitol riots were justified, more so than BLM protests, because people involved in the riots believed that they had not been given a fair and free election. Last time I checked, a fair and free election included the opportunity to vote. Now elections have never been completely fair, often there was voter suppression of BIPOC people, and this one did have its flaws. Such as the postmaster general slowing down the mail months in advance to slow down the arrival of mail in ballots. Of course this was only because Trump had asked him to. So maybe you can’t complain about not having a fair and free election when the person you want to elect and want to re-elect is screwing up the system for you. However, despite the flaws in this election, people who voted for Trump never faced voter suppression. For example, one of the biggest moments of voter suppression happened after the 13 amendment and continues to happen, this voter suppression targets black voters. Black voters would see the KKK in front of voting places, the KKK would be there to intimidate them into not casting their vote. Some voting places even refused to let Black people in to vote. Today the Center of Integrity reports, black voters have polling places in their communities shut down as a tactic to suppress their vote. Trump supporters mostly voted in person so they weren’t a victim of the mail in ballots and haven’t faced voter suppression.

In conclusion, BLM protests are completely different from capitol riots and it’s unfair and unjust to the BLM protests to compare the two.