Following the violent storming of the US Capitol by pro-Trump extremists on Wednesday, Joy Reid shed light on the undeniable role race played in the act of domestic terrorism and law enforcement's response. The MSNBC correspondent began by unpacking why the rioters felt so comfortable and fearless while infiltrating and ransacking the federal building as Congress attempted to certify Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election.
"If that was a Black Lives Matter protest in DC, there would already be people shackled, arrested, or dead."
"They know that they are not in jeopardy," Reid said, referencing the pro-Trump mob, "because the cops are taking selfies with them, walking them down the steps to make sure they're not hurt, taking care with their bodies, not like they treated Freddie Gray's body." She continued, "White Americans are not afraid of the cops. White Americans are never afraid of the cops, even when they're committing insurrection, even when they're engaged in attempting to occupy our Capitol to steal the votes of people who look like me, because in their minds, they own this country, they own that Capitol, they own the cops, the cops work for them, and people like me have no damn right to try to elect a president."
The political commentator also tackled the double standard of the police reaction to the Capitol riots versus the widespread Black Lives Matter protests that took place last summer — the former was lackluster at best, while the latter was cruel and remorseless. "If that was a Black Lives Matter protest in DC, there would already be people shackled, arrested, or dead," Reid explained.
For reference, as of Wednesday evening, merely 52 people were arrested during and after the swarming the Capitol — 47 for violating the 6 p.m. curfew and six for other charges, including unlawful weapons possession. Meanwhile 427 people were arrested in DC between May 30 and June 2, 2020, while demonstrating against police brutality and racial injustice following George Floyd's death. And that's not even including the thousands of arrests that occurred across the country in the months that followed. Numbers don't lie, and these figures are stark.
Watch Reid's impassioned MSNBC segment to hear what else she had to say about the Trump-fuelled attack on American democracy.