If These Domestic Terrorists Were Not White, They Would Likely Be Dead

by Sa'iyda Shabazz

If you actually thought that the last few days of Trump’s presidency would be calm, the joke’s on you. Heeding his call to “stand back, stand by,” a group of domestic terrorists have stormed the U.S. Capitol today. This is the kind of shit you see in a dystopian fiction movie, not in real life. And yet, here we are. It goes without saying that the only reason they’ve been successful is because of white supremacy. If they were any other group of people, there’s no way this would have happened (or gone this far).

White supremacy is the driving force of Trump’s entire presidency. And it has been since the very beginning. It’s kind of amazing that the more obvious it becomes, the more people choose to call it something else. Or ignore it entirely. As if there is any other reason for the behavior of Trump and his supporters over the years. Even though it’s always been their bottom line, it’s been ramped up in the year leading up to the November 2020 election. In these last few weeks of the Trump administration, they’re trying to make sure that it’s the thing most directly associated with their legacy. They are proud of themselves.


AFP via Getty Images

During the presidential debate, when asked for the millionth time to denounce white supremacy, Trump didn’t. Of course not, he can’t alienate his largest support group. Instead of trying to chill them out a bit, he did the opposite. He directly told his supporters, most specifically the white supremacist group the Proud Boys, to “stand by.” How could anyone see that as anything other than a rallying cry? Ever since, they’ve all been waiting for the opportunity to show their leader how loyal they are to him. And now that he’s still calling foul, with no proof, on his loss of the presidency, they are chomping at the bit to prove their allegiance. Apparently the signature red hats and American flags aren’t enough. So, they stormed into the Capitol building to get the point across. They’re not going peacefully, and nobody should be surprised.

Remember back in June when George Floyd was murdered by the police? Protests happened all over the country to call attention to police brutality. These protests were peaceful events where people held up signs and made the world understand that Black lives matter. And from the very beginning, the protests were met with nothing but hostility and aggression, especially from law enforcement. Governors called in the National Guard, armed like they were going into war. Police in riot gear lined the streets, waiting for just one person to step out of (a perceived, subjective) line for even a second. In New York City, protesters were walled in on the Brooklyn Bridge for hours. People all over were arrested and held handcuffed in paddy wagons without a reason. The scenes from the June protests looked like scenes from the 1960s. Except instead of police dogs and hoses, there were rubber bullets and tear gas.

In all the images I’m seeing from today, there is not one where the police look threatening. There isn’t a tank in sight. So why were the police throwing tear gas bombs into the crowd in June and peacefully escorting these “protesters” out of the United States Capitol today? Well, the answer of course is white supremacy. Because if these protesters were Black and brown people? Their asses would have never made it even remotely close to the Capitol, let alone inside. And most definitely not armed. These white supremacists stormed inside the Capitol building like the angry mob in Beauty and the Beast. Except in this version, there are no forks to pin them to a wall or candelabras to burn their asses. You can’t tell me that the police are even trying to stop them. If that were true, bodies would be lining the front steps.


AFP via Getty Images

Whether people want to listen or not, I’m going to say it: White supremacists are domestic terrorists. You can keep burying your head in the sand, but it’s the undeniable truth. These people are willingly and happily fine with destroying this country. Nowhere else could a group of men in camo print bulletproof vests muscle their way into a federal government building and act like a bunch of petulant toddlers. If toddlers were armed and violently racist, of course. I have a seven-year-old son and he throws a fit if he loses a game. And that’s exactly how these people are behaving. Never mind that when they won, they told everyone in genuine fear of their actual lives to “suck it up, snowflake.” The hypocrisy is astounding and infuriating.

I won’t get too many more opportunities to say this, so here it is again: President Donald J. Trump is a white supremacist in an ill-fitting suit. And his supporters are the “sheeple” they accuse liberals of being. These people have allowed this man to destroy the country and their lives because it seems like a better alternative to allowing marginalized people to have equal rights. And they are willing to go down in a literal blaze of glory to prove how passionate they are about this. Their whiteness allows them to do things like storm a federal building and cause havoc and mayhem. Only white people can walk in the office of the Speaker of the House and kick their feet onto her desk. They broke into offices, going through desks and proudly taking photos. Maskless, they swarmed down halls, around corners and onto the Speaker’s dais.

And after more than an hour and after many prominent figures imploring him to say something, the soon-to-be-ex president finally told them to go home. All while spreading more false information about election fraud, which further stirs up his rabid supporters. But it doesn’t matter, the damage is done. White supremacy wins yet again. And if you’re surprised by any of this, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. This actually is America, and it’s long overdue for a complete overhaul and systemic change.