The cover art is an original illustration by Chapuis which depicts the protest at the U.S. Capitol that took place on Jan. 6, 2021. ((Photo Credit: Josie Chapuis/Achona Online))
The cover art is an original illustration by Chapuis which depicts the protest at the U.S. Capitol that took place on Jan. 6, 2021.

(Photo Credit: Josie Chapuis/Achona Online)

The Protests at Capitol Hill Have People Questioning: Is it Truly Black and White?

January 19, 2021

The forceful entering of the chamber took place mid-afternoon, on Jan. 6, 2021. There was a protest at the U.S. Capitol, where thousands of men and women were at the steps of the Congress building, and hundreds entered the building and senate chambers, where the electoral vote counting and debate occurred moments before.

As congressmen and women debated the legitimacy of the Arizona electoral count, speeches were halted and these senators and representatives were told to evacuate. Secret service and police force ushered them to safe rooms — away from the chamber — moments before it was breached.

The official count of arrests as of the morning of Jan. 7, 2021, was approximately 68. Individuals were arrested as a result of storming the capital building with visible guns and attempting to interfere with electoral vote counting. The riot at Capitol Hill resulted in 5 deaths; one woman was shot, and the other four casualties, including 1 police officer, were a result of other medical emergencies. The riot on Capitol Hill was a dark day, and the US Capitol American Flag was flown at half-mast.

These arrests are small in comparison to this summer, specifically May through July, where there were protests for the Black Lives Matter movement, as a result of the death of George Floyd. On June 1, 2020, there were 316 people arrested in Minneapolis. These arrests were at nonviolent, peaceful protests. The Minneapolis protests on June 1, 2020, also resulted in the death of 19 protesters. This is over five times more deaths than that of rioters who entered the Capitol building during the electoral vote count. 

President-elect Joe Biden condemns the violence related to the protest. He said on January 7, 2021, “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol.”

Many believe that the police force, National Guard, and Capitol Hill officers would have done more, had the majority not been caucasian, or white. These viewers believe that the police force displayed a sense of prejudice or double standard when it came to the treatment of civilians in protest settings based on race. Footage shows Capitol Hill police taking selfies with protesters inside of the Capitol Hill building. 

“If the crowds and supporters were not caucasian, I would think that there would be have been more physical harm and enforcement by police officers. They are allowed to walk around the building shouting and holding flags, but BLM supporters can’t walk in the streets without bullets being fired and tear gas flying. I would think more deaths would become the outcome if they were not a white majority,” said Sophia Moore (‘24).

However, others disagree like the following AHN student who wishes to remain anonymous. She said, “I see ethnicities, but race? I see the human race. And to think that any racial difference can matter more than the fact that we are all human, and we are all living breathing, individuals, is unthinkable to me. What could matter more than the fact that we are all people? We all have worth. We all matter.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that this was a “terrible violation of what — of the Capitol — of the first branch of government, the legislative branch by the president of the United States.” In a CBS 60 minute interview, a few days after the event, she also drafted an article of impeachment against President Donald J. Trump following the Capitol Hill riot that many congressmen and women believe he incited.

Moreover, as the events of the November 2020 election come to a close with Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, the FBI warns, Armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols from 16 January through at least 20 January, and at the U.S. Capitol from 17 January through 20 January.”

The instability of the U.S. government and riot at the Capitol as of late have revealed what Sabrina Grayson (’24) and others to be racial biases regrading police enforcement. She said, “The violent protests would’ve been handled completely differently if the crowd were full of people of color. I can guarantee lives would’ve been injured if not taken.”  

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  • Diane TillJan 27, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    How can you possibly say that blm protests were peaceful this summer? Be very careful just listening to very biased, liberal media. Remember blm has been infiltrated by Marxists and antifa. They don’t care about black lives, they burned down hundreds and hundreds of small businesses, mostly black owned. They breached federal buildings, burned police precincts and cars, far from peaceful!! How does the death of a black person give this group the right to burn and loot? Many were white very elite college kids who learned Marxism at the hand of elite liberal colleges. They used this opportunity to cram Marxism down our throats. This is what happens when schools stop teaching patriotism and America the great, and capitalism and freedom!! Our history is NOT bad and not based on slavery. We are the only nation to defeat slavery. We are great and not systemically racist. The capitol breach was mainly led by anarchists and antifa. The left wing media propagandists focused on the 2-300 in the capitol and not the very peaceful crowd that was there voicing their constitutional right to a completely unconstitutional, stolen election! State legislatures certify an election, not state governors and AGs. NO election in history ever ever stopped counting in the middle of the night! Dominion flipped votes, ballot harvesting, mail in voting mess,…,.. it is right to stand up to fraud and tyranny the way peaceful conservatives did on Jan 6, just the radical left
    And right fringe groups breached the capitol. All political parties have an extreme fringe, throughout history.
    Our country burned all summer and it was NOT peaceful !!!!!!!!!!!! Our nation has PAID, professional, violent protestors. Look at Portland, Seattle, NYC, Minneapolis,…… all Molotov cocktail throwing violence.

    • Adriana James-RodilJan 28, 2021 at 11:08 am

      Thank you for your comment.
      However, as a school newspaper, we allow people to comment on our stories, but we have the right to acknowledge that many things you mentioned were misinformation, specifically the claims regarding Dominion and voting fraud, the hiring of paid protestors, and the claim that the Capitol protests was led by anarchists / antifa.