When a violent, mostly white mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol over baseless claims of election fraud, one of the first things that crossed Aaron Morrison's mind was: The protesters who called out racial injustice over the summer wouldn’t have been allowed to get close enough to the Capitol to breach it.
Morrison, a race and ethnicity writer based in New York, set out to examine the circumstances in real time. He found that the violent breaching of the halls of power on Capitol Hill represented “one of the plainest displays of a racial double standard in both modern and recent history.”
Sources that Morrison interviewed or received statements from, including the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, said Black people who protest over police brutality and systemic racism are often met by police or National Guard troops equipped with assault rifles and tear gas. However, they pointed out, the mostly white insurrectionist mob that attacked the Capitol were met by an underwhelming law enforcement presence.
Urban affairs reporter Gillian Flaccus contributed to Morrison’s reporting from Portland, Oregon, where Black Lives Matter protesters and their supporters quickly pointed out the huge disparity between Trump’s response to racial justice protests in the Pacific Northwest city and his encouragement of the violence at the Capitol.
Washington-based broadcast producer Padmananda Rama interviewed newly sworn-in St. Louis Rep. Cori Bush, who said the race of the Capitol rioters played a big part in their ability to breach the building. Rama’s video interview with Bush was packaged with the text piece.
Top Stories Hub photo editor Alyssa Goodman pulled together several images contrasting how the insurrection was handled as opposed to the racial justice protests.