ARLENE VIOLET – The shameful day in D.C. was predictable

ARLENE VIOLET – The shameful day in D.C. was predictable

No matter what way you want to slice or dice it, the attack on the Capitol was an attempted coup encouraged by President Donald Trump and his minion, Rudy Giuliani. Look at the rhetoric by Mr. Trump himself on Jan. 6 when the Inciter-In-Chief urged the crowd to “fight like hell” to save their country and register their displeasure at the Capitol. Implying that he’d be at the Capitol too, the president retreated to the White House to watch the ferment he precipitated. Even after the destruction commenced, the president told the “patriots” that he loved them and that they were “very special.” At the same gathering Rudy Giuliani chimed in language about being engaged in a battle. The sheep then proceeded to follow these shepherds of anarchy.

You didn’t need to be a soothsayer to know exactly what was going to happen. A dangerous president unleashed a menacing, primarily white, crowd of terrorists. Without evidence of widespread voter fraud, a lack of which 60 judges, including Republican appointed ones, also found lacking, he continued his chant that he was robbed. As despicable as his conduct was in threatening the very foundation of democracy, Mr. Trump’s followers blindly defend him to this day.In an extremely rare post on Facebook, I expressed my consternation as to what was happening in D.C. Trump supporters proceeded, as I suspected they would, to attack me, cussing and bolstering their antagonism with conspiracy arguments. Some cited the Washington Times article (later retracted by the newspaper) that three people attacking the Capitol had been Antifa members. The quoted source of this assertion repudiated that characterization stating that their face recognition equipment instead identified leaders of white supremacist organizations. That didn’t stop the doubling down of those assertions and another conspiracy theory that the rioters were all members of Black Lives Matter trying to make the president look bad, as though that could ever be possible. They drew comparisons between the hoodlums at the Capitol with the Black Lives Matter movement without noting that the actions at the Capitol were fueled by lies while Lafayette Square peaceful protesters were bathed with tear gas and shot with rubber bullets in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.

Mr. Trump exits office on Jan. 20, but what isn’t departing from the country is the army of conspiracy believers, even those here in R.I. With no evidence whatsoever, they accuse some Democrats as being a pedophile ring, and assert a litany of falsehoods to justify what happened on Jan. 6.

Regrettably, the clenched fists at the Capitol and the false equivalencies between Black Lives Matter protesters and the mob on Jan. 6 will continue unabated. The Confederate flag-holding rioters who love police officers when they deploy aggression against black protesters no longer love the constables on patrol (COPS) who try to check their trespass. The very spectacle of uncovered white faces, including that of the man who sits with his feet up on Speaker Pelosi’s desk, personifies white male privilege where the perpetrator thinks he will never be accosted or arrested. White women are not off the hook either as they embrace privilege behind the scenes.

Mr. Trump has exited the stage but his acolytes are still stage right.

Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general.