A Tale of Two Americas


Stephanie Cervantes and Maria Alegria

Graphic discusses contrasting views on the BLM Movement protests and Capitol riots.

A white man marches towards the Capitol building with a fraudulent election in mind and no one stops him.

A black woman protests for the innocent lives that have been taken by the police, the abuse of power, and racial injustice is stopped by the police and arrested.

This is the story of two Americas.

Jan. 6 will go down as one of the ugliest days in American history. 

The day began with President Trump’s “Save America Rally” during which the former president of the United States urged thousands of his supporters to march to the Capitol and protest the certification of the Electoral College which would see him lose reelection.

“You’ll never take back our country with weakness,” Trump said. “You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.” 

Upon his request, thousands of Trump loyalists stormed the Capitol. Hundreds of them breached police gates, smashed windows and shoved police officers in order to force their way inside.

Members of Congress were forced to hide under desks, strip themselves of their identification pins in order to avoid being attacked and had to escape through secret passageways.

A dark nation, full of racism, police brutality and injustices is the story of America. One that is encountered by the less fortunate and by people of color. 

The death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, sparked protests all around the country in response to racial inequity and police brutality. Black Lives Matter protests were calm and peaceful demonstrations, for the most part. The response of authorities was the opposite.

Former President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets following BLM protests. He referred to protestors as thugs and looters, which is not what they were. He also threatened the protestors as mentioned in his tweet, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” 

This response was very different from his reaction to what happened at the capitol building. 

U.S. History teacher Mr. Ramos said, “The attackers were not beaten, pepper-sprayed, and arrested in mass to the degree that BLM protestors were. There was no army of police surrounding the Capitol building like when the BLM protest was held.” 

According to ABC News, “Most notably, on June 1, law enforcement cleared Lafayette Park for an alleged presidential photo-op by deploying pepper balls and smoke canisters. Police also used horses, shields, and batons to beat back the demonstrators.” 

During these protests, police were quick to respond with violence against BLM protestors even though they were not being disruptive. This was a different treatment than the one given to the Capitol rioters. 

President Joe Biden tweeted, “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true– and it’s unacceptable.”

He explained that if the rioters were Black Lives Matter protesters, they wouldn’t have received the same treatment.

In the attack on the Capitol, there is a video of an elderly Trump supporter being walked down the stairs by a police officer in riot gear. 

On the other hand, an elderly bystander of a BLM protest was pushed by police which resulted in a head injury that kept him in the hospital for a month according to USA Today.

The elderly man who was only a bystander was brutally injured for being involved in a protest against racism and police brutality, while someone who was protesting for what they falsely believed in was treated with care and respect.

Senior Isabel Ortega who leads a local democratic chapter said, “It was very clear that the difference of even skin color is how they treat you and the difference in ideals, the difference of everything identifies how they treat you.” 

Despite all the differences we have, we must unite and work together to end racism and police brutality.

“We need more unity even if we don’t agree on every single dot, we need to work together because as people joining forces even though it’s not right at the dot and at the point it can bring us a step forward rather than being more separated,” said Ortega.