To supplement Paul’s earlier post about the Trump/Hawley/Cruz/McCarthy Insurrection, the videos WaPo has up showing the shooting of Ashli Babbit as a mob tried to force its way into the Speaker’s Lobby (TW: violent content, although the editors do their best to blur the most potentially disturbing images) make the nature of what was happening very clear. This was a lynch mob, not a protest, and as Paul says things could have gone much, much worse than they did.
And as Hakeem Jefferson notes, the means were violence, but the ends were the restoration of white power:
On Wednesday, after weeks of refusing to accept the outcome of the election, President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol of the United States as members of Congress were meeting to carry out their duties to certify the election results and confirm Joe Biden’s victory.
Much will be said about the fact that these actions threaten the core of our democracy and undermine the rule of law. Commentators and political observers will rightly note that these actions are the result of disinformation and heightened political polarization in the United States. And there will be no shortage of debate and discussion about the role Trump played in giving rise to this kind of extreme behavior. As we have these discussions, however, we must take care to appreciate that this is not just about folks being angry about the outcome of one election. Nor should we believe for one second that this is a simple manifestation of the president’s lies about the integrity of his defeat. This is, like so much of American politics, about race, racism and white Americans’ stubborn commitment to white dominance, no matter the cost or the consequence.
It is not by chance that most of the individuals who descended on the nation’s capital were white, nor is it an accident that they align with the Republican Party and this president. Moreover, it is not a coincidence that symbols of white racism, including the Confederate flag, were present and prominently displayed. Rather, years of research make clear that what we witnessed in Washington, D.C., is the violent outgrowth of a belief system that argues that white Americans and leaders who assuage whiteness should have an unlimited hold on the levers of power in this country. And this, unfortunately, is what we should expect from those whose white identity is threatened by an increasingly diverse citizenry.
Jefferson goes on to discuss a lot of relevant scholarship, and I strongly recommend it. Although I hope we can remember that the real victims here are powerful Ivy Leaguers who lose their vanity book contracts just for fomenting a little violent sedition.