Are there high and low roads between disparate groups of political protestors?

What is the difference between the disruptive WH protestors and the disruptive protestors in big cities this past spring and summer? Both were engaged in occupying and damaging government buildings, and assaulting the police.


Welcome to the Straight Dope. The General Questions category, where you posted this, is for questions with factual answers. The question you asked is not, and is better suited for our Great Debates category. I’ll move it there.

One obvious difference was the way they were treated by authorities. It seems the color of your skin and "right"ness of your politics can make all the difference in the world.

One group was encouraged and praised by the President.

The existence of other wrong actions does not make this any less wrong.

You mention “disruptive protests.” There is a significant difference IMO between protests directed against private property, and taking over governmental buildings with the intent to disrupt governmental actions/services.

Not to say either is OK, but smashing a store window and looting is different than occupying a federal capitol/a state capitol/or a municipal police station.

Let’s be sure to compare apples to apples.

I think skin color is indirectly correlated. The real issue is that protesters fighting for liberal causes are treated more harshly than those fighting for conservative causes, and it just so happens that Black people fighting for racial justice is a liberal cause.

ETA: I believe that part of the reason for this is because the police are mostly conservative, and it’s probable that conservative protesters are more likely to include off duty law enforcement.

One group was trying to disrupt the peaceful transition of power and the US democracy. The other one was protesting police violence. The cause you’re protesting for matters.

Welcome to the Board, BTW.

The causes were different (it all comes down to whether one likes Trump or not, whether one likes BLM or not).

The level of violence was slightly different (no arson yesterday.)

I pretty much made reference to this issue on another thread:

Remind me, did BLM try to disrupt the proper functioning of our democratic process to install their little tinpot dictator on the throne?

No, it fucking doesn’t. It comes down to whether one likes American democracy or not. Jesus fuck.

I thought George W. Bush would be an absolutely terrible president and his victory was pretty shady, but in no way would I have thought it would have been appropriate to storm the Capitol. And, that election might actually have been stolen, as opposed to this one, which even some Republicans have said was the most secure one ever.

And, no arson?? Right, they just physically threatened Senators and Representatives, stole mail from Pelosi’s desk, etc.

Holy shit, I can’t believe your post.

Really? I can.

Speaking of political protesters, all I can say is, thank God that they didn’t take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. That would be truly over the top.

Has anyone checked on Susan Collins? I imagine she’s given herself a concussion at this point from her brow furrowing.

And to answer your question, there is no difference between the rioters yesterday and the rioters this spring and summer. They’re the same people, and in both cases, the police let them get away with it.

The peaceful protesters from the spring and summer, however, did not get off so lightly.

The BLM riots were underpinned by legitimate grievances. Black people were being essentially murdered without consequence by the police and by private citizens. The January 6 riot was underpinned by absurd conspiracy theories, actively promoted by billion dollar media companies and by the President of the United States (mostly for cynical, amoral, self-serving reasons).

That’s the two sentence summary. Each of the BLM connected riots has its own backstory, and some of the racial injustices were more appalling than others. (FWIW, I had no great outrage at the initial Ferguson Missouri shooting that was the launching point for this wave of – sometimes violent – protests.) But even at the worst point, the BLM riots were not attempts to permanently overthrow representative democracy.

It is also appropriate to note that the BLM protests consisted of a quite small amount of vandalism considering that they were the LARGEST PROTESTS IN US HISTORY.

Whereas, instead of a few bad actors in an astonishingly peaceful protest movement considering its vast size, this incident was 100% people intent on mayhem, violence, and in fact, treason. Did you know that some were found with plastic zip tie handcuffs? They were hoping to take hostages.

Does that sound equivalent to you?

No, it does not come down to who likes who. We’re not picking a prom date.

The issue is about upholding the law. The BLM protestors were saying police officers should not be allowed to murder people with impunity. The anti-BLM protestors were saying police should be allowed to murder people. One side is right and the other side is wrong.

The issue about whether or not we like Trump was decided on November 3. The protestors yesterday wanted to throw out the results of the election and appoint a dictator. They are wrong.

These are not issues where there are “very fine people on both sides”. The good people are all on one side and the other side is full of bad people.

Minneapolis reported $55 million in June before summer ever began. Given that riots from Floyd’s death happened across the nation, this amount is a small fraction of the total.
Several violent deaths beside this one occurred during the Floyd riots,
Looting and burning happened in many cities, such as Portland, OR, where the reported BLM riot damage in July was $23 million.
BLM riots a quite small amount of damage? Hardly.
While the attack on the WH and congress was violent mayhem, there is no evidence that 100% of the protestors intended to commit violent acts, nor did anything of the sort. That claim is hyperbolic.

The police caused all that damage. If they weren’t killing people, there wouldn’t be anything to protest against.

Looting Jordans and burning state, local, federal, and private property isn’t for justice. Political violence is inexcusable regardless of who is doing the goofy slogan chanting or flag waving.