Race & the Capitol mob

January 31, 2021

From the January-February 2021 issue of News & Letters

Los Angeles—On Jan. 6, armed Trump supporters invaded the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., to stop the U.S. Congress counting of state electoral college votes.

Some police were part of the problem. One Los Angeles police officer stated that he attended the rally at the national mall but did not go to the Capitol building. A town in West Virginia put two officers on leave. Police from Seattle and New York took part in the mob. Some Capitol Police opened gates for the invaders while some wore MAGA hats.


Long-time progressive Congresswoman Maxine Waters, representing South Los Angeles, stated on Pacifica radio on Jan. 13: “This is the story of our lives: systemic racism against Black people.” Congresswoman Karen Bass lambasted the president for “inciting a coup,” stating: “The people breaking into the Capitol are the same people screaming about law and order when there are Black Lives Matter protests.”

 LZ Granderson, a Black writer for the Los Angeles Times, quoted Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green on the night of Jan. 6: “It just goes to show, the policing system was built against Black and Brown people.”

 One of the first functions of the police, which was formed in the U.S. during the abolition movement prior to the Civil War, was to retrieve runaway slaves in the North and return them to Southern plantation slave masters.

 The Los Angeles Times reported that, on the same day as the Capitol was mobbed, Berlinda Nibo, a Black woman, and her friends stumbled upon a pro-Trump rally in downtown Los Angeles. After expressing her anti-Trump views, they left. When she realized her cell phone was missing, she returned alone to look for it and was surrounded, called the N and B words, was pepper-sprayed in her eyes while her arms were held immobile at her sides from behind. A group of Los Angeles police nearby did nothing. Only when her friend returned to look for her were they able to walk away. A Black man was also severely beaten at the Capitol.

LZ Granderson stated: “Yes—they are actually blaming Black People” for the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol. Republican Congressman Tom McClintock stated: “If we prosecuted Black Lives Matter and Antifa rioters across the country…this incident may not have happened at all.”

 The extremist white supremacist followers of Trump are against the Black and Brown working class.


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