Far-right extremists storm U.S. Capitol

Abigail Prichett, Assistant Growl Editor

After Donald Trump’s overwhelming loss to President-elect Joseph Biden in November, there were hordes of belligerent citizens denouncing the win. Since then, even after Biden’s win was solidified in December, multiple protests have occurred across the nation. One of these so-called “Stop the Steal” protests took place on Dec. 12 in Washington, D.C., with thousands of people in tow. Protesters and counter-protesters repeatedly clashed, and several were even stabbed during these altercations.

Even though this protest and the hundreds of others across the country have done absolutely nothing to change the fact that Biden will be inaugurated in three weeks, another large protest was scheduled to take place in D.C. on Jan. 6.

And take place it did, with thousands of fired-up Trump supporters littering the National Mall. But instead of just getting into altercations with counter-protesters and screaming racist, homophobic, and overall offensive rhetoric for all to hear, they decided to do exactly what their president told them.

On Wednesday afternoon, they stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, smashing windows and breaking down doors. They are now using the building as a playground, climbing the walls, playing in the chambers, and waving their dirty confederate flags in the chambers. Even Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated, as were other senators in the building.

Thousands of irate white supremacists cluttered the steps leading to the main doors, which are not public. Protesters have clashed against the police that they have consistently claimed to back so strongly. Before they stormed the Capitol Building, the protest was generally peaceful, or as peaceful as you can call a protest filled with aggressive racists.

Due to this event, the city was placed on a complete lockdown. D.C. residents were strongly advised to stay away from the affected areas and remain in a safe place.

The anger that I feel towards this event is difficult for me to describe. Those of the far-right have loudly expressed their hatred for the Black Lives Matter movement, calling them thugs and stating that they only cause destruction. So, what would storming the Capitol and destroying US property be called? Peaceful? I am sick of the constant contradictions coming from this group of hateful, mask-less, disrespectful individuals.

There is no way for anyone to defend or justify this type of behavior, no matter which party you belong to or where your beliefs fall. We all knew that if Trump lost, his followers were not going to take it well. Hell, I was upset in 2016 when he won, and so were millions of other Americans. But did we storm the U.S. Capitol? No! We were upset and worried about our futures, but we did not act out in violence.

I also know that if the tables were turned and the BLM movement was storming the capital, the marble steps would be dripping with blood. BLM protesters have been arrested, detained, gassed, shot at, tased, and stomped upon simply for kneeling. They have been treated as if they are gum stuck to the boots’ bottoms that the right finds themselves licking so often. Black people are shot and killed for simply existing, whether in stores, streets, or their own homes. The police have murdered black children for holding toys mistaken for guns.

Yet, when thousands of far-right extremists quite literally storm the Capitol with guns strapped to their hips, they are met with practically nothing? And you can say, “well, one person was shot inside the Capitol!” Keywords there are “inside the Capitol.” None of these protesters should be inside of the Capitol building at all, especially not parading around and playing pretend.

I am not surprised that these people managed to get into the building, simply because they are overwhelmingly white. Though they will say that white privilege is not real, they are blatantly using it in this situation.

Irony also came in the form of President-elect Joe Biden speaking before Donald Trump did. He stated that President Trump should “step up” and speak on the situation. He also stated that the Capitol incident was “not a protest; it’s an insurrection.” When asked if he was worried about a similar event occurring at his inauguration at the end of the month, he said he was not and that “he believes in the American people.”

All in all, this event is disgraceful and only serves to make the alt-right look like a group of ignorant, angry people. The Capitol building’s storming is quite frankly un-American and furthers the belief that Trump supporters do not listen and instead act with violence.