September 28, 2023

Jan. 6 Insurrection a year later. What if they were Black?

By: Roy Douglas Malonson

January 6, 2020 marked a day of dishonesty and treason as the nation watched violent criminals attack and occupy the Capitol building. This act of domestic terrorism was met with seemingly zero repercussions against the insurrectionists, but instead with politicians and right-wingers blatantly lying about the events that occurred that day and what led up to it happening.

Of the 700 violent rioters, only a little over 50 have been sentenced for their role in the attack. Only half of the 50 plus are serving jail time. As of December 1, a sentencing memorandum revealed that half of the rioters received jail time sentences from 14 days to 41 months.

Many others received light misdemeanor sentences like 60 hours of community service, one month of home detention, three years of probation, and $500 restitution. What a slap in the face!

After watching the horrific treatment of unarmed Black Lives Matter protesters exercising their rights to protest in a nonviolent manner, many are wondering why this extremist group of predominantly White criminals who have launched an unprecedented attack on democracy are serving light sentences and are being protected.

“By not convicting them on the more serious charges, you’re sending a message that this type of behavior is permissible and can be tolerated,” said Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst for domestic terrorism with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “And it emboldens these people even more so, because they see that the government’s kind of on their side.”

With the actions, or rather lack of action, from the government regarding the insurrection, the average American can assume that yes, the government is on the side of the rioters. Not only has the government’s failure to act allowed the rioters to be protected from true justice because of their skin color and the White privilege associated with it, it has inadvertently emboldened others like the murderers of Ahmaud Arbery, and the more recent bomb threats to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

There have been numerous lies circulating about the event that took place on January 6, spread by former president Donald Trump, right-wing media, and Republican members of Congress.

Much like the anti-Critical Race Theory brigade, these forces are attempting to rewrite facts and history to fit their dishonest narrative. It is important to recognize these lies for what they are – FLAT OUT LIES!

The entire insurrection was based on the lie that Trump was cheated out of his second term in presidential office during the 2020 election. Trump continued to spew that the election was fraudulent on the morning of January 6 during his rally speech. He then riled supporters to march to the capitol and “fight like hell.” Even after the insurrection, Trump continued to push the ‘rigged election’ narrative.

Trump and his supporters claim that all rioters were completely unarmed. In a Twitter post, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia wrote, “One of the biggest holes in the lie about J6 being a planned insurrection is that all the people there were unarmed. Anyone with half a brain knows that gun owners only leave their firearms at home when they don’t feel the need to carry a gun or are obeying the law.”

The Department of Justice’s statement counters these claims saying that over 75 people charged with the attack “have been charged with entering a restricted area with a dangerous or deadly weapon.” Rioters attacked the Capitol with a variety of weapons including guns, stun guns, knives, axes, chemical sprays, etc.

While there will never be a full inventory of the weapons brought to the Capitol because the majority of the rioters were able to leave the grounds unchecked, prosecutors alleged that people at the Capitol riot were armed with guns.

Another common lie from Republican defenders of the insurrectionists is that they were invited by police officers. In a book interview, Trump said, “the Capitol police were very friendly. You know, they were hugging and kissing.”

This claim is in stark contrast to the body cameras on police officers that show officers in combat against rioters. About 140 officers were assaulted during the raid trying to fend off rioters from the Capitol building.

Another lie schemed up by insurrectionists is that the “nonviolent protestors” are being unfairly prosecuted and that they have become “political prisoners.”

According to Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, the jailed rioters “are not unruly or dangerous, violent criminals,” but are “political prisoners who are now being persecuted.” He also claims that almost 200 rioters are behind bars.  The truth is out of 700-plus rioters at the Capitol, only dozens were ordered to remain in jail before trial. These dozens were either charged with assaulting police officers or conspiring with right-wing extremist groups.

Here we are, January 6, 2022 and true justice has not been served. The attack on the Capitol has encouraged a slew of right-wingers to fervently attack democracy for all, including the banning of CRT, restricted and biased voting laws, racial discrimination in our schools, and the unjust murders of Black people by police officers and civilians.

What if they were Black? The sides of the walls would have been stained in blood, we can almost assure you of that. Think about it.

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