I could hardly believe my ears when I heard Joe Biden and Kamala Harris cry racism in characterizing the reaction of authorities to incensed Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021: “No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” Biden said.
“We have witnessed two systems of justice: one that let extremists storm the U.S. Capitol yesterday, and another that released tear gas on peaceful protestors last summer. It’s simply unacceptable,” Harris tweeted. I kept thinking, how dumb do these people think we are? Do they really think we’ve forgotten the actual events of this summer so soon?
Do they think those like me who witnessed the #BLM riots with their own eyes in New York City have already forgotten how roving bands of almost exclusively black teens and twenty-somethings rioted and looted, breaking into high-end Soho boutiques and struggling small businesses already ravaged by COVID-19 and absconding with millions in merchandise while our spineless leaders stood by doing nothing and left those businesses to board up and fend for themselves for days on end?
Do they think we’ve forgotten how those few looters and rioters who were arrested were let go, with all charges against them dropped?
Do they think we’ve forgotten how prominent #BLM leaders defended the looting or labeled it “reparations,” while establishment media outlets — the same ones that had no problem referring to the Trump supporters in Washington on January 6th as a “mob” of “rioters” — had continued to insist back in June, against the evidence of our own senses, that we were watching “peaceful protests” or, in the case of NPR, gave a platform to someone hawking a book entitled In Defense of Looting?
Do they think we’ve forgotten how newly woke corporations fearful of #BLM shakedowns donated to the cause, coming forward with bland diversity statements and hiring policies, while pretending that the hateful anti-cop, anti-white, anti-American rhetoric we were hearing and the crude graffiti and retrograde violence we were seeing in previously sacrosanct public spaces was somehow a progressive accomplishment, even as the media did its darndest to sell us on an empirically unsupportable narrative that the freak incident in which one bad cop in Minneapolis unjustifiably killed the career criminal George Floyd was a commonplace occurrence representative of ubiquitous “systemic racism”?
Do they think we’ve forgotten how the same Big Tech monopolies that were so quick to shut down President Trump’s social media accounts when his supporters came to riot had wholeheartedly embraced the #BLM cause and continued to let their platforms be used by #BLM and Antifa to organize disruptive protests, riots and territorial occupations for weeks on end?
Do they think we’ve forgotten how people — from social media influencers to politicians like our incoming vice president nominated for her race after #BLM had made such a move a foregone conclusion — elevated their careers championing #BLM while, today, we are seeing people losing their jobs for joining the pro-Trump assault on the Capitol?
No, we have not forgotten, and we will not forget. There is a real double-standard at work. It is a glaring one, not the one Joe Biden and Kamala Harris claim exists, but the one they want to gaslight us into accepting. That double-standard being perpetuated by all the organs of the elite media, Big Tech, woke capital, the celebrity class and the political class is precisely what has led to so many of Donald Trump’s supporters resorting to violence because they and their concerns are not being heard. Their anger, like #BLM’s anger, is no excuse for violence. But as long as one side of the equation — with its angry, racially divisive rhetoric and its violent actions to undermine law and order and shake America to its foundations — keeps getting a free pass, the other side of the equation will never add up, and the delicate balance between them will never amount to a functional democracy that works for everyone.
Alexander Zubatov is a partner at a New York law firm, a poet and writer, and a prolific contributor to publications including The Federalist, Quillette, Tablet, and Mises.org.