For weeks before the presidential election, my small notes in the chat sections of Zoom discussions sounded like some stereotyped old left grump warning about fascist thugs.
I voiced concern for preparation against thug-like attacks on vote-counting centers in contested states. I hoped locals were thinking about protecting the vote in Michigan. Even as I speculated myself into panic-attack-level breathing, I was assured by those who were supposed to know that these matters had been anticipated. On Election Day, and in the days after, my fears of disruptive violence turned out to be excessive. Not completely unfounded, but certainly overzealous. Good. I felt comfort in thinking that those who were supposed to know apparently knew.
Capitol Hill riots — which led to the deaths of four people, were incited by President Donald Trump's anti-Democratic rants and ushered in by an absentee police force — proved this stereotyped old grump right.
Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Almost as soon as he was elected, Trump caused intellectuals to speculate and debate on whether he is a fascist. One historically informed observer noted that as distinct from the classic fascist movements of Europe between World War I and World War II, Trump and the Republicans did not have a private militia. I noted that even discounting the wingnut rightist militias, he had popular support among the police: local, state and who knew how deep in the National Guard units.
Here is an exercise:
Imagine if other folks, say Black Lives Matter activists, invaded the Capitol during the debate over a criminal justice reform bill? Say they attempted to burst through a line of Capitol Police and charge the Senate floor? Would they have been allowed to get that far? What do you think the mortality rate would have been before they even got close to the building?
COLUMN: My son and I were accused, attacked and 'robbed of civil respect'
What about a diverse posse of climate activists breaking into the Senate during a climate change debate? What if they sat down on the floor, linked arms and refused to move? Would the arrest and/or injury rate have been swift and immediate?
Or, say protesters standing peacefully outside the White House during the summer's call for a racial reckoning after the death of George Floyd (suffocated by a cop who put a knee on Floyd's neck)? When the president wanted to stand outside a nearby church holding a Bible for a photo op, how many of those protesters were injured? How many broken bodies did that produce?
POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media
So where the hell were the Capitol Police when a white mob attempted to reverse a presidential election and stormed the Congress?
There are more than 2,000 members of the U.S. Capitol Police. Charles Ramsey, the former Washington D.C. police chief, questioned in a TV interview where Capitol Police were when the building was breached. Furious minds what to know. I watched thugs on television surround the Capitol building. Nothing was happening to them.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
ATTORNEBEN CRUMP: America defaults to seeing Black people — too often victims — as threats
A new administration and a new Democratic Senate will be there when the tear gas wafts away. Job 1 for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and presumptive Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (among many other must do's): Watch your back, call for the head of the Capitol Police to be fired and rebuild a force that believes in equal justice.
This is a never forget, never forgive moment. What will happen in the next election cycle to members of Congress who supported the movement to overthrow the election? Will they prove successful while carrying the banner of a party that prefers dictatorship to multiracial democracy? And what will we do, knowing what we know now?
Robert J.S. Ross is a professor emeritus of sociology at Clark University.
You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to [email protected]
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Where were Capitol Police during Wednesday's riots?
all right reserved for yahoo news