Iâ€™ve seen arguments made that yesterdayâ€™s attack on the Capitol was an example of â€œwhite privilege.â€ I don’t think this is a good example of that. Consequences: 4 dead, 50+ arrested, and an active FBI search for other rioters. A sizable number of these folks will be charged with a whole lot more than trespassing.
The contention that the insurrectionists breached the Capitol because they are white ignores that they were aided and abetted by the President himself, a sizable number of the GOP, and the rightwing media (and perhaps some of the Capitol Police themselves). The Capitol Police were completely outmanned and, I suspect by Trumpâ€™s own design, other security and law enforcement personnel were not readily available.
This wasnâ€™t a â€œwhite Americaâ€ revolution. It was about thwarting the will of the people to keep a frankly insane man in power. I saw more antisemitic and anti-media slogans than anti-minority ones. Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™s a lovely overlapping Venn diagram of the insurrectionistsâ€™ beliefs about Jews, Blacks, and the media. It may not be so tight as to form a perfect circle, but I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s many of us whoâ€™d be surprised if it were pretty close.
So Iâ€™m not saying that the insurrectionists arenâ€™t racist or that some in the GOP arenâ€™t or that the rightwing media isnâ€™t. Some arenâ€™t, but I am certain that many of them are. But thatâ€™s not whatâ€™s at play in this instance. This wasnâ€™t a racially motivated event. As heretical as it may sound to some, not everything is about race. (In fact most things arenâ€™t, or at least shouldnâ€™t be, but thatâ€™s another discussion.)
So if weâ€™re talking about racial privilege, this is a bad example. These traitors to the country will be lucky if theyâ€™re not hung from the highest raftersâ€”which is frankly what I think should happen. If you think the response would have been different had this been minorities attacking the Capitol, I agree: Trump would have had the place armed to the gills with the DC National Guardâ€”we know thatâ€™s true because weâ€™ve already seen his response to peaceful(!) BLM marches in May 2020. But thatâ€™s an argument for his racism (or perhaps narcissism), not â€œwhite privilegeâ€ generally.