Capitol riot shows that intentions of any movement matters

After supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, there have been many conservatives defending the riot by comparing it to the Black Lives Matter protests. While in both cases, property was damaged, it’s not fair to compare them on just that. 

The reasoning behind BLM protests is what makes the movement valid. Trump supporters stormed the Capitol based on lies. The motivation of these movements makes them incomparable. One is moral and based on facts while the other is based on false information. 

On Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters broke into the U.S. Capitol building with the goal of stopping Congress from certifying Joe Biden as the president-elect. People broke in through windows, ransacked offices and broke into the Senate’s chamber. 

QAnon supporters and Proud Boys sat in the chairs of Congress with Trump flags around their necks. Representatives and senators had to be evacuated, and a police officer was beaten to death. People in the crowd exhibited a lot of racism including anti-Semitic statements on T-shirts, Confederate flags and Nazi flags. 

Following this event, politicians have been condemning the people who stormed the Capitol. However, many Republicans have been calling Democrats hypocrites because of their support for BLM protests. They argue that BLM protests resulted in property damage too, so what difference does it make when Trump supporters do the same thing? 

This argument is ridiculous as it simplifies these protests down to the property damage resulting from them. At some BLM protests, there was property damage, but the BLM movement addresses racist police violence. They don’t aim to destroy property. 

There’s a big difference between looting a Target and breaking into the U.S. Capitol building with the intent to force Congress people to bend to your will and uproot an entire national election. One is breaking and entering plus petty theft while the other is treason. 

There are differing opinions as to whether destroyed property is okay or not, but most people can agree that it’s better to harm property over a good cause than a bad one. This is the case when comparing these two movements. 

BLM supporters are protesting the wrongful deaths of Black people who were killed by racist violent cops. Their cause is moral and based on truth. Cops are proven to have racial bias, and there are numerous disturbing video evidence of these wrongful deaths. 

However, these capitol stormers were protesting under the guise that Trump actually won the election but lost from voter fraud. This isn’t true. There has been no proof of mass voter fraud in this recent election. All leads on this theory have been debunked

Despite these ideas of voter fraud being untrue, these people still decided to break into the Capitol and attempt to derail the democracy. One person even came in with zip ties, implying they planned on physically restraining congress members. These people wanted to violently overthrow the U.S. government, which isn’t okay. 

The issue when comparing the Capitol riot to BLM protests is that the intentions behind these movements are different. One is based on truth and righteousness while the other is based on conspiracy theories and bigotry. 

Even if some BLM protests resulted in property damage, the movement still aims for something good, so it should be supported. That’s why the argument that BLM supporters are hypocrites for condemning the Capitol riot is ridiculous. Intentions matter for every protest.

Anna Baker is an English junior who can be reached at [email protected]

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