January 10, 2022

HEATHER MAC DONALD: Insurrections and Double Standards: Reveling in the anniversary of the Capitol riot, Democrats and the media dubiously brand it a right-wing “insurrection”—while ignoring the urban anarchy that began in May 2020.

The disappointment was palpable. As the one-year anniversary of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot approached, the Department of Homeland Security had warned state and local law enforcement officials that “domestic violent extremists” could strike again. Security forces were on guard and many people were on edge, reported the New York Times. Yet, as a CNN anchor morosely observed during the network’s saturation coverage of the anniversary celebration: “There’s been no violence at the Capitol today.”

The letdown was all the greater, coming after so many similar disappointments. Early in 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security predicted that white supremacists and militias would stage January 6-inspired attacks throughout the year. Fencing and bollards ringed the Capitol through July, protecting against the alleged white supremacist threat. The Biden administration budgeted for attacks from domestic terrorists embedded within the military and law enforcement. In late spring, DHS issued an intelligence bulletin about coming domestic extremist attacks during the summer of 2021. A flurry of excitement broke out about possible violence in August 2021 from Trump plotters. College campuses were also at risk from those who feel “hostility toward higher education, intellectualism, and societal sectors seen as elite,” according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Barricades went back up around the Capitol in September 2021 and law enforcement was put on high alert, in preparation for unrest from right-wingers protesting the treatment of the January 6 rioters. The FBI doubled its investigations of white supremacists and militias, since extremists “advocating for the superiority of the white race” pose the greatest threat of mass civilian attacks, the bureau has concluded.

None of those expected attacks materialized—not last week, on the one-year anniversary of January 6, or during the preceding year. The media’s Capitol riot anniversary celebration, however, was choreographed to underscore the fictional claim that white supremacy is the biggest impediment to civil order in the U.S. today. . . .

Biden’s linking of Officer Billy Evans to January 6 is an outright fabrication. Evans’s death had nothing to do with January 6: he was killed by a black nationalist follower of Elijah Muhammad who drove his car into Evans and other Capitol police officers on April 2, 2021. It is a mark of how desperate the Democrats are to elevate the January 6 death toll that they are willing to undermine their white supremacist story by including in that toll a black nationalist murder of a police officer nearly three months later.

But Biden’s sleight of hand worked, as evidenced by the New York Times’s fawning and hilariously gratuitous annotations of Biden’s January 6 speech. The Times glossed Biden’s invocation of Evans with a comment about officers who responded to the January 6 attacks, reinforcing the impression that Evans was a casualty of the violence that day.

Only one person was killed during or as a result of the January 6 riot: Capitol trespasser Ashli Babbitt. The media blackout on that killing is one of the most stunning examples of political double standards in recent memory. Babbitt was shot at short range by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, in what appears to be a patently unjustified use of force. Byrd had zero reason to think that Babbitt was armed or posed an imminent threat of lethal danger to himself or bystanders. Had Byrd been white and Babbitt black, even if Babbitt’s political sympathies were otherwise unchanged, the media would have called racism on him.

The goal is to give leftist thugs free rein, while ensuring that the right is afraid to respond. It’s the sort of thing authoritarian governments do.

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