Terrorism or Protest: What’s the difference in the United States?
On January 6, 2021, the entire nation and world watched a riot led by Trump enthusiastics, Proud Boy members, “Blue Lives Matter” supporters.This was an attack on U.S democracy by white supremacists who were encouraged by President Trump in a series of social media posts that were eventually suspended and removed. While watching all the live news coverage, articles online, and conversations on Twitter, I couldn’t help but be furious as to how easily these people were able to enter the U.S Capitol alive without heavy resistance coming from police and security. There was no tear gas, rubber bullets, arrests, or other military equipment despite the destruction and unlawful violence. It was clear that these people had protection to what many people say “exercise their freedom” however, if anyone identified as Black, Indigenous or a person of color and did the exact same thing that these people did, I can guarantee that there would be a large toll of people dead, hospitalized, or missing. To top it off, many news sources and media coverage are calling this event as a “protest” rather than calling it out for what is truly was/is: I would say this was an act of domestic terrorism.
It has been clear that the United States has an issue with addressing white supremacy as terrorism. There have been motifs for mass shootings, bombings, kidnappings, etc. that is highly active and linked to this country. What we saw on our tv screens and mobile phone screens yesterday is a prime example of what terrorism looks like, such as, images of swastikas, rope nooses, confederate flags. Police also recovered two pipe bombs in the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee offices. What is unclear to me is how a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest is met with violence by police and negative attacks from media platforms? It is important that we all realize how powerful our voices are and how the power of our voices influences diverse races, ethnicities, demographics, etc. Our voice has so much power that it can contribute to systemic racism, oppression, joy and love. How about we start, (well those who are dedicated to social justice, equity and liberation for all) to contribute our voices toward the truth. The truth about whether the turmoil in Washington D.C was a simple protest or an act of terrorism. Use our voices to hold media sources accountable, have meaningful conversations with coworkers, friends and family about how their voices can lift up our country or terrorize our community members that reside in our country. Pay attention to your elected officials and leaders in your community and they use their voices, is it for good or evil?
I hope that all BIPOC community members will be safe and practice self-care during these difficult times and may we all have compassion for one another.
How do you use your power?