Does Black or White determine the reaction of the security services?

Jennifer Tuttor, Assistant Editor

The United State’s Senate is known to be one of the most secure places in the country, but little could be said about the level of said security after certain insurgents broke into the senate on Jan. 6, 2021 to attack members and other high-ranking officials, including Vice President Mike Pence. The insurrection led to the disrupting of proceedings known to be the counting of electoral votes that would finally confirm Joe Biden as the true president of the United States of America- after he won the majority of the popular votes during the 2020 general elections. 

 The security available on the said day had their fair share of brutalities from these “local terrorists”, who chose to invade Senate Chambers on such an important day to the American people. The invaders were strongly in the view that the November elections were rigged, and that former President Donald Trump had won that very one; their actions were actually tailored towards making that point very clear. Some of these individuals, who were very well coordinated and even had communication devices, were known ex military men, and others belonging to the police department. Many senate members and their staffers had to run for their lives, as glasses and doors were broken into and many properties lost. The life of an officer was lost in the process. 

After carefully considering the handling of this insurrection, it brings my mind back to the handling of the Black Lives Matter protests that took place across the country in the middle of the previous year, 2020. Those protests were for a right cause: to seek justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, all Black People who were unduly killed by officers under obscure circumstances. The protests were also calling for a complete reform of the police departments. These protests were characterized by a lot of violence, especially on the part of the law enforcers with protestors being beaten, the use of pepper spray, the use of tear gas, and undue arrests of peaceful protestors.

 Comparing both circumstances and the actions taken by the police, it is almost clear how much white supremacy, as well as white privilege has not lost its upper hand, despite large calls against racism and racial inequality. One would assume that the Senate House needs to be protected at all costs, against any terrorists: both internal and external, but a direct opposite was seen, compared to how the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests were treated before. It is now no more surprising, to just imagine how different the case would have been, if these thugs were a group of Black people: many more arrests would have been made on the spot, many of them would have been shot in the guise of “protecting national property”- the brutality would have been much worse, and the security services would have justified it fair and square, almost perfectly. 

This is not to say I would have preferred the insurrectionists beaten up or treated badly, but if the security services justified some of their actions during the Black Lives Matter protests as acts of self-defense and as necessary, why should other groups committing the worst form of any crime on the symbol of American authority be given an exception? Are certain people above the law now? Does people’s skin color give them a certain excuse for crimes being committed? Maybe, just maybe, change indeed is coming. 






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