“White privilege on peak”

Yesterday Trump became the only president to be impeached twice, with 10 Republican congresspersons joining with the Democrats to pass the measure by a vote of 232 to 197. That nearly 200 Republicans stuck with Trump may have more to do with their fear of angering the Trump mob than not agreeing with the impeachment resolution.

As bad as what we saw last Wednesday, the more details that emerge, the worse it gets. It seems less like a protest that got out hand and became a riot and a lot more like a carefully planned insurrection that had much more ambitious goals of causing mayhem. The rioters had schematic diagrams of the buildings and the offices of people and had leaders who were directing others where to go and what to do.

Here is a report and more videos of the violence of the angry mob.

A DC Metropolitan Police officer dragged into the crowd by the pro-Trump mob during the insurrection on the US Capitol was beaten by rioters who threatened to shoot him with his own weapon, according to his ex-wife.

The shocking moment was captured by photographer Mel D. Cole who snapped a picture of the officer being pulled down the stairs by violent pro-Trump supporters on Wednesday, his mouth open in panic, his face full of fear.

“I’ve never seen a cop scared like that,” Cole told BuzzFeed News. “I knew he was terrified for his life. Cops have this way about them. They don’t show fear most of the time and this man was scared.”

“They were beating the shit out of him,” said Cole. “Right in front of my eyes.”

Right before he took the photograph, Cole had just moved to the right of a Capitol entrance on the west side of the building, where a line of police officers were trying to hold back rioters from entering, when he saw the officer get pulled away from the police line and attacked.

“[They were] beating him, pulling him around, yelling at him,” said Cole, a hip-hop photographer who started shooting Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd and has photographed multiple pro-Trump events. “Calling him a traitor, which is a big thing, and [saying], ‘We supported you. We backed the blue. You’re not backing us, traitor. You traitor.'”

Cole, who is Black, said the experience of watching white rioters assault a police officer and not be immediately arrested or face any violent consequences was “white privilege on peak,” particularly when he was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last summer for taking photographs during a Black Lives Matter protest.

“Can you imagine if one of those protesters beat up a cop like that and had him screaming, ‘I have kids, I have kids,’ ripped his badge off, [threaten to] shoot him with his own gun?” said Cole. “Can you imagine if Black people did that what the cops would do?”

There is not a chance in hell that groups like the Black Panthers, even at the height of their armed militancy, would have dared to do what these rioters did. They would know that the authorities would have no hesitancy in gunning them down.

Trump has given these his supporters the license to act on their worst impulses.


  1. Who Cares says

    There is more that indicates that this was not spontaneous.
    There have been no public tours of the capitol building(s) due to COVID.
    On Jan 5th multiple groups were seen that were apparently on guided tours through the place. link.

  2. raven says

    It’s clear that there were some groups that planned for violence and attacking the US Capitol.
    A lot of these people were armed with multiple weapons including spears, flagpoles, pepper spray, tasers, guns, zip ties, and bombs of various types.
    You don’t bring multiple weapons to a peaceful protest!!!

    It’s also clear that multiple US agencies completely dropped the ball on preparing and defending against a mob attack.
    The US Capitol police.
    The US Department of Defense. They didn’t call up the National Guard until hours too late and 6 requests. The National Guard got there too late and didn’t do anything. The Capitol was reinforced and cleared by Washington DC police.
    The Department of Defense has a budget of $750 billion, half the defense budget of the entire planet.
    And they couldn’t defend one building from a few thousand attackers.

    The DHS/FBI also failed bigtime.
    They did very little intelligence gathering and failed to notify anyone who mattered enough to plan things.
    They have a budget of $52 billion.
    A high school kid could have done better by just using the internet, since all the attacker planning was done in the open on various websites.

  3. sarah00 says

    Regarding the representatives afraid of angering the Trump mob, AOC pointed out many representatives, herself included, have faced legitimate threats of violence for years over their voting record, and that “it’s a privilege if this is their first time”.

  4. flex says

    I have very little pity to spare for people who knowingly backed a narcissistic psychopath, who had demonstrated fascist tendencies for years, under the impression that he could be a useful idiot for their agenda. Trump is certainly an idiot, but the elected representatives are not (with a few exceptions).

    They could have, all of them, publicly said in November that the election was one of the most closely watched for the possibility of fraud and very little was discovered, on the order of a vote or two, and certainly not enough to change the outcome of the election.

    They could have, in November, either looked at the claims made by Trump and his legal team, and told their constituents that those claims are baseless. They could have denounced the court cases submitted by Trump’s legal team as having no merit.

    They could have, last year, actually looked at the evidence that Trump was trying to pressure a foreign government to lie about his opponents family. They may have ended up deciding that the evidence didn’t warrant removal from office, but not even looking at the broken cookie jar just encouraged Trump’s behavior.

    They could have, because they do have that power, decided in 2016 that Trump did not represent the direction the leaders of the Republican party wanted to go.

    Instead, they decided to ride the tiger, and in doing so have, as predicted, damaged our democracy.

    Now they are concerned that they might be bitten when they try to get off?

    Impeach, recall, refuse to seat, disbar, the lot of them.

  5. consciousness razor says

    “I had a lot of conversations with my Republican colleagues. … A couple of them broke down in tears … saying that they are afraid for their lives if they vote for this impeachment.”

    Democrats are of course still spineless. You can t least rest assured that not much has changed in that regard.

    I’m not sure how to make sense of it sometimes…. But I want to say Republicans are only a little better at hiding it, although the party is driven largely by fear. (And hate and ignorance. But definitely lots of fear.) I guess it’s that they’re usually so invested in the fantasies they’ve constructed for themselves, so far removed from anything in reality, that they can merely seem carefree about the shit that’s actually going on in the world around us. But when something actually hits them in the face, and in this case, it happens to be Frankenstein’s monster itself, well then there’s no denying that, is there?

  6. StonedRanger says

    Hmmm. Afraid for their lives are they? They werent afraid at any time in the last eight years that they disenfranchised everyone who wasnt a republican in this country. For every lowdown scummy trick theyve pulled there wasnt a bit of fear. Oh, I am enjoying this entirely too much. Cops who revel in their ability to beat and kill without repercussions getting beat and killed? Tough luck for them. They all deserve everything and anything that happens to them. What goes around comes around. I bet they arent all that scared come the next election cycle. The story then will be how they fought tooth and nail to fight the dems and now its time to take it back. Nope, dont feel bad for any of them. Its about time the cops and the rethugs get a taste of what the rest of us have had to deal with for a long time.

  7. Who Cares says

    The national guard cannot move into Washington without the presidents approval. The fact that they did on Jan 6th indicates that someone (Pence) did commit a successful coup, even if it was only temporary.
    The FBI did do intelligence gathering. The FBI office in Norfolk, Virginia sent an explicit warning about what the extremists were going to do to their office in Washington. The FBI office in Washington just sat on that warning (and accompanying evidence) since the groups and individuals identified were also just as likely to only to participate in 1st amendment protected activities. link

  8. sonofrojblake says

    “I am enjoying this entirely too much. Cops who revel in their ability to beat and kill without repercussions getting beat and killed? Tough luck for them”

    Oh come on. Can’t we at least try to be a little better than them?

  9. Rob Grigjanis says

    StonedRager @7:

    They all deserve everything and anything that happens to them

    Spoken like a true blinkered ideologue. Twit.

  10. springa73 says

    No matter what one may think about what Republican politicians deserve, it’s terrifying that representatives’ votes are being controlled by fear of violence. That replaces the authority of democratic elections with the authority of violent mobs and terrorists, which is something no sane person should celebrate.

  11. Rob Grigjanis says

    StonedRanger @12:

    I did not express any ideology.

    You don’t have to. That’s the sort of thing an ideologue says (as in “spoken like…”);

    “All [communists/capitalists/liberals/Democrats/Republicans/cops/soldiers/Americans/Mexicans/whites/blacks/asians/whatever the fuck] are equally bad”.

  12. Rob Grigjanis says

    And you “enjoy” cops you know nothing about as human beings getting beaten (in one case to death). Yeah, I didn’t insult you enough.

  13. flex says

    @springa73, #11,

    … no sane person should celebrate.

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not celebrating their fear.

    Courage and leadership is doing the right thing, or at least the thing you think is right, in spite of fear.

    If these representative’s were truly leaders, if they had any courage, they would ignore the threats, they would stand up to the bully and his gang. If they really felt fearful, they should have banded together, because there truly is strength in unity and courage in companionship. Instead, for years they toadied to him because they felt that their own success was tied to his. They watched as other people were thrown under the bus, careers ruined and their lives threatened by a mob they helped create. They applauded “2nd amendment solutions”, and didn’t care when other members of their elite fraternity were threatened by the mob. The disrespect for law didn’t matter because it wasn’t directed at them.

    But after helping to create and enable, and use as their private ATM, a class of people who doesn’t think but only parrots, a class of people who take pride in being ignorant, a class of people who completely justify using Johnathan Swift’s term “Yahoo”, they are surprised when a person who is better at throwing jingoistic slogans around turns on them.

    I’m not taking any pleasure in the republicans who played with matches getting burnt.
    But I sure as hell hope that they learn something.

  14. johnson catman says

    re flex @15: As a general rule, republicans are incapable of learning. There may be exceptions.

  15. billseymour says

    While I have no sympathy for folks who are now reaping what they sowed, I still think that elected representatives fearing for their lives because of a vote that they cast should terrify us all.

  16. sonofrojblake says

    “If these representative’s were truly leaders, if they had any courage, they would ignore the threats, they would stand up to the bully and his gang”

    Forgive them -- they’re confused. They’re used to BEING the bully and his gang. That’s the entire reason most of them went into this job in the first place.

    “there truly is strength in unity”

    When a dozen late middle aged fat guys are cowering behind a locked door with an armed mob *literally * calling for their heads on the other side of it, that sentiment comes across as both heartwarming and suicidally stupid. There’s strength in having a line of his guys with bigger guns in front of you.

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