After the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, at the hands of cops, countless Americans took to the streets in BLM protests. They were repeatedly met with violence. Here, on the west coast, an officer in Los Angeles drove his cruiser into protestors, trapping some beneath the vehicle. In Buffalo, an unarmed, 75yr old protestor was callously shoved to the pavement, resulting in severe injuries. In Ft. Lauerdale, after declaring protestors “agitators” police fired rubber bullets and pepper spray into the crowd indiscriminately. In Minneapolis, an order was given to “light them up”, where barely restrained aggression unleashed volleys of teargas, rubber bullets, and flash-bangs on peaceful protestors.
State after state, city after city, scenes played out like this between police and even the most peaceful of protestors. Threads on Twitter were filled with videos capturing unprovoked violence by police.
A new round of unrest began in Washington, D.C on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. However, this time it was a seditious, Right-Wing mob fueled by political resentment and a false belief that the presidential elections were stolen from Trump. A little after 1pm ET, this mob descended on the Capitol Building. As of now, a woman is dead after being shot in the neck, several officers were injured in violent altercations, and there are reports of pipe bombs being found and disposed of. And after all this?
The mobs were simply allowed to stroll away.
This plays into a bigger and far more troubling narrative. One that the FBI has been issuing warnings about for decades. Local Law Enforcement, Far-Right Militias, Extremists, and White Nationalists groups frequently share alarming ties, sympathies, and common beliefs. Police connections to White Nationalists groups and beliefs is one that stretches back for generations.
It is not a coincidence that we witness reoccurring, unprovoked police violence against protests from Left learning groups but friendly banter, selfies, and a hands-off approach to those of the Right. In fact, across this country, local law enforcement is repeatedly discovered to share far too much in common with groups like Patriot Prayer, the Proud Boys, Neo Nazis, the Klan, and others of their ilk.
L.A, in the early 90s, there was the Lynwood Vikings, a group of officers who formed a Neo Nazi gang within the department and terrorized the surrounding community.
In 2013, it was reported that a White Nationalist group held unchecked power all the way up to the highest levels of Los Angeles’ Sherriff department, where again, they terrorized the surrounding community, and threatened “race traitors” with violence.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, Joey Gibson, founder of the far-right group Patriot Prayer, and a Portland P.D lieutenant, Jeff Niiya, conversed about the former’s protests plans, via text messages. This conversation went as far as acknowledging a specific member of Patriot Prayer, who would be attending future demonstrations, had warrants, but would also not be arrested.
I could go on and on with decades worth of damning examples. So, why am I explaining all the above to you?
Because the grotesque display witnessed at the Capitol is not an aberration. Instead, view it as a bigger, bolder display of the norm when it concerns Right Wing/White violence in the U.S. This is chickens coming home to roost. This mob was emboldened with the same knowledge the Bundy’s had when they, and their many supporters, openly engaged and taunted law enforcement during an armed stand-off in 2014. Or when the 26 militants stormed the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.
The mob that attacked the Capitol did not appear by magic. It is a Frankenstein’s monster of White anger, resentment, right-wing paranoia, and American Exceptionalism all brought to life by the Trump administration.
These Proud Boys brazenly engage in destructive, violent, and seditious nature all secure in the knowledge that there will likely be no consequences. The president encouraged and complimented them. Police will support, sympathize with, or ultimately handle them with kid’s gloves.
What you are seeing has been a long time coming. The natural escalation of goons and terrorists emboldened by its country’s president, and rarely troubled by its law enforcement. If you are expecting any serious or lasting consequences concerning the storming of the Capitol building then you have not been paying attention.