Is the treatment of U.S. Capitol rioters highlighting a law enforcement double standard?

After yesterday’s chaos at the Capitol, many are calling the treatment of the crowd an overwhelming "double standard" as law enforcement seemed to show great restraint in the midst of a riot. So many people are now asking one question. "What would have happened if that had been a crowd of African Americans?" asks Community of Faith Pastor Bishop James Dixon. Many believe the answer is indisputable.  

"I have no doubt there would have been bloodshed, there would have been carnage. Every time there’s a protest involving Black people anytime there’s a protest for civil rights they have a tendency to use full force," says University of Houston History Professor Matt Clavin. 

"No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol," says President-Elect Joe Biden.  

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted "There was a riot at the nation’s Capitol and yesterday showed a glaring double standard in America".


Congressman Troy Nehls stood alongside police, protecting U.S. Capitol chamber

"What I’m witnessing is a disgrace. We’re better than this. Violence is NEVER the answer," Troy Nehls tweeted.

"How many blacks have died in America for far less? Yesterday became proof, all lives are not valued the same in America. The laws don’t equally apply," adds Bishop Dixon. 

"I’ve been tear-gassed. I’ve had rubber bullets fired at me, just for being there," explains Ashton Woods with Black Lives Matter Houston. At the Capitol, as people broke down security barricades, shoved officers, smashed windows and a Huffington Post Reporter took a video of a mob chasing a police officer even as the officer pauses several times and orders them to stop. "We are arrested multiple times higher than any other group in America on very small minimal charges and shot down and killed," says Bishop Dixon.  

"And this crowd was allowed to sort of just mingle throughout the entire building. Capitol police officers were taking selfies with these fools," says Clavin. The History Professor says to understand why, you have to consider American history, dating back to slavery and legalized white supremacy. "So there’s a long now centuries-old tradition of Black Americans representing a threat to White America. There’s this whole idea that America is a White nation for White people and for 200 plus years Black people and their allies have been fighting to change that". 

"We are Americans. We are Americans," insists Bishop Dixon but those shouts, for centuries, have fallen upon deaf ears. Sort of like the silence of every person who isn’t speaking out against the double standard, says Bishop Dixon. "The loudness of the silence is deafening. Where are the moral voices, the evangelical white faith leaders? Why aren’t they speaking out condemning these actions? As Dr. King says 'learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools'. To have to try and explain to my children why they should believe in America after witnessing this kind of double standard, they are more and more convinced that America does not believe in them".  
Historian Matt Clavin says you can’t solve a problem unless you first acknowledge there is one. So he says talking about it certainly helps.