Explain it to me like I’m 2 years old: Why are Capitol Rioters free to walk?
Even knowing America’s history, the Justice Dept. is surprising me
Kalief Browder spent three years in Rikers Island for allegedly stealing a bookbag. Because Browder would not say he was guilty, this nonviolent 16-year-old teenager was thrown in jail and left there to sit. For a bookbag. For three years. Netflix teamed up with Jay Z to make an entire documentary about this. No one was killed. No government property was stolen. No police officers were yanked down stairs, punched, pushed behind doors or had their weapons stolen. No Congress people had to run into hiding or ended up with coronavirus by being too close to the anti-maskers. He wasn’t called “deranged” or compared to “Call of Duty zombies*.” It was just a bookbag. And the only person who committed suicide was him — after he was released and never ever declared guilty.
In 2020, New York City released approximately 300 nonviolent inmates from Rikers Island, after the city’s first prisoner tested positive for coronavirus last week. They weren’t just released because it was a nonviolent crime. A worldwide health outbreak had to be the final straw.
But an entire Capitol Riot consisting of approximately 800 people who swarmed the building violently has left the Justice Department wondering if some should not be charged because it would “swamp the local courthouse.”
I need someone to treat me like Denzel Washington and explain to me like I’m 2 years old why this is in any way, shape or form fair. I need you to share with me how Blue Lives Matter — minus that day. I need you to tell me why it’s OK to release those who stormed a government building and lead to five deaths on-site, but let’s let bygones be bygones. I need you to tell me why Black Lives Matter protesters — who killed no one at all while Heather Headley was killed by a MAGA supporter and 75-year-old Martin Gugino was left bleeding on the ground after being pushed by officers — should still keep their same charges for nonviolent protesting.
Actually, I want you to tell me why Black Lives Matter protesters who were (allegedly) violent should not have their charges dropped while Capitol Rioters still should. I would like for you to share your deep wisdom about why Black Lives Matter protests gave you heart palpitations, but the Capitol Building Riot was “American.” (Scratch that. Middle Passage. 1619. Check that one off your list. It is American.)
I want you to explain to me why you are so absolutely passionate about black-on-black crime while smooth overlooking self-snitching of white-on-white crime. Tell me how you care so deeply about black lives, as long as they end up being born (and you’re paying for not one diaper) and imprisoned (where you believe they should be anyway).
I want you to make me fully understand the man who kneeled near another man on the steps of the National City Christian Church to re-create the George Floyd suffocation — the same day as the Capitol Riot. Y’know, for the laughs. Tell me why I don’t have a good sense of humor. Show me why the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters are not being rounded up with as much conviction as the Black Panther Party. Break down why it’s perfectly OK for the rioters to undergo “fighting fit” training with paramilitary groups, so they were fully ready to attack Congress and police like an actual war.
I need you to convince me of how there was electoral fraud, but more than 60 cases in the U.S. judicial system could not prove it nor would the newly appointed Supreme Court Judge (that Trump and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slid through in 27 days for a lifetime career) Amy Coney Barrett even humor.
I want you to create such an inarguable conclusion that I’ll believe this in the same manner that I did Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. You’re going to have to do some serious work, but I urge you to give me a rock-solid argument that will leave me in a “hands up, don’t shoot, you win” pose.
There’s a catch. I need this reasonable explanation to be broken down to me like a naive 2-year-old — small words, solid response, reasonable conclusion. But you have to be able to do it before I block you on Medium within milliseconds — and, oh boy, does Shamontiel love to throw block parties. The chances of you being able to accomplish this are about as high as Denzel Washington walking into my living room right now. I still want you to try though. I’ll be looking at my surveillance camera waiting on Joe Miller to get here while you type this thought-provoking, intelligent, fact-filled response. Good luck.
* Start “This American Life” episode of “The Empty Chair” at 12:00 to hear the interview from Officer Jones.
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