The Difference Between Black Lives Matter Protests and the Capitol Insurrection


Sasha Plotniak

On January 6, 2021, a mob of angry Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress was confirming the electoral votes of the 2020 presidential election. Incited by President Trump, the group made of mostly white people broke in and stormed the government building. Many Republicans have been comparing this riot to the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer, saying how it is unfair to be against one riot but not the other. There are many differences between the two though. The Capitol riot consisted of a group of Trump supporters who have been convinced by the president that the election has been cheated. His dangerous lies have brainwashed them into thinking that he won the election, so they thought that invading the Capitol would somehow fix things. Black Lives Matter protests, on the other hand, had an actual purpose behind them. With 93% being peaceful, protesters marched down streets to demand justice for Black lives. Black Lives Matter was fighting for people to have the ability to walk down their street at night without getting murdered, whereas Trump supporters were throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get their way. 

Another major difference between the two is the police response. During Black Lives Matter protests, over 14,000 people were arrested for marching down the street, while on the day of the Capitol riot only 61 were arrested. Black Lives Matter protests were faced with teargas and rubber bullets, while many Trump supporters left without a single scratch on them. This is very telling, considering the Capitol riot has been publicly planned for weeks prior, yet the police still weren’t prepared enough to stop the mob with the same forces given against prior protesters. Police officers also took selfies and encouraged the rioters as they roamed the halls and trashed the building. It is very noticeable that since the Capitol riot consisted of mainly white people, they didn’t get met with the same response as they would if they were black. This very obvious bias against black lives is one of the many reasons people are angry with the whole situation. 

The president’s response to the Capitol riot was also completely different from the Black Lives Matter protests over the summer. Before he was banned on Twitter, he would constantly tweet about black lives matter, calling the activists “thugs” and saying “when the looting starts the shooting starts”. After the Capitol attack though, he made a video message saying he “loves them all” and they are all “very special people”. He also tweeted that they were “great patriots” which is very odd considering that they were storming a government building. Though no one can say they are surprised by his reaction to the two, it is very alarming to have a president be so biased on a topic.