Jan 6 of the year 2021 will go down as a very tragic day in the history of the United States as the American Capitol Hill was stormed by Trump’s supporters who tried to overturn the former US president’s defeat during the 2020 elections. This riot against the American Congress and the violent attack was not only a threat to the lives of people assembled in the Congress joint session ceremony to count votes but also a major threat to the democracy of the United States. Contrary to that, Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is a political movement that is socially decentralized and works with the objective of speaking out about racial injustices, systemic racism, and police brutality towards people of color in an efficient manner. Although the BLM movement has been involved in various marches, including the one held after the brutal murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, the protests remained peaceful and centered on systemic reforms in the police department. Both these movements took place at different times for different causes and showed different similarities and differences in significant ways.
The majority of the US citizens condemned the violent Capitol riot, but many called such people hypocritical as they claimed that BLM caused more harm than that protest in favor of Trump. The BLM organization, since its formation in 2013, has cleared one thing the organization does not condone violence. However, Trump’s supporters claimed that the riot of Jan 6 only occurred once and thus had low casualty rates than BLM protests. According to USA Today, 93% of BLM protests nationwide were peaceful, and only 7% caused social unrest across the United States (Sadeghi). So, many of the people involved in the Capitol riot and Trump’s supporters countrywide still believe that 7% of protests caused severe damage to the US society as well as its economy. Nevertheless, the evident contrast in police and people’s response to BLM protests compared to the Capitol riot on Jan 6 shows how deeply white supremacists have advocated their insurrection theory.
In a nutshell, the significant difference between the Capitol riot and the Black Lives Matter movement is the intent, as the former was a direct attack on sanctified democracy, whereas the latter was with the aim to end the systemic acts of racism. Protests are important for a country to make its citizens realize that nobody can curb their civil rights and can pose violence against minority groups such as BLM organization intends to demand justice for Black men. However, protests or riots that cause social unrest with no intention but to harm commoners, institutions, state, or democracy should not be permitted in any case because they drive serious social and political upheaval to a democracy. The vicious attack on democracy in violent forms of behavior in the name of protests disrupts the typical social order of society.
Sadeghi, McKenzie. “Fact Check: Viral Images Compare Handling of Black Lives Matter Protests and Capitol Riot.” USA TODAY, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/01/07/fact-check-photos-compare-handling-of-blm-protest-capitol-riot/6578562002/.