January 6: Organized in plain sight

Storming the capital with little to no resistance by the state. How and why violent white supremacist action goes unchecked.

Jan. 6 of 2021. Massive uproar from those most dedicated to the Commander in Chief Donald J. Trump. Cries of a stolen election in a system that is rigged in their favor. A system built to give them every advantage. From the electoral college designed to give slaveholders more sway, to voter suppression of people of color in many forms including hour-long wait times and the criminalization of minorities stealing their right to vote. Republicans have every advantage under our system, and yet they still came up short. 

This did not matter though, because the very system created to cater to them has also brought with it a sense of entitlement. A sense of entitlement only stoked further by Trump into the flame of blatant white supremacy that we have seen in recent years. Emboldened in their actions, by a President that thrives on fear of the other, on creating a villain out of everyone that does not fit their neat mold of what it is to be American. Made clear in the far right’s use of the term “Patriot” to separate themselves from anyone even slightly more to the left than them.

Supremacy is a precarious thing because it is a fabricated existence. An existence in which those in power have to constantly work to keep up the facade. To diminish the power of those they have deemed not worthy and to impede their ability to improve their status in society. Supremacy exists so long as the monopoly on power and violence are held by one group, and this supremacy has been made painfully obvious by the events of Jan. 6. 

But the events were not a surprise. In their entitlement, a myriad of individuals and groups came together on unsecured social media platforms to discuss their plans for the day. Conflict Journalist Robert Evans even released a detailed article about the planned marches and the attack the day before it was intended to take place. In his article “How the Insurgent and MAGA Right are Being Welded Together on the Streets of Washington D.C.” he walks through every detail of the planned convergence.

“Yet these rallies are not just excuses for extreme elements to get into street fights. They are also networking opportunities for the far-right,” Evans explains. “On livestreams and speeches before crowds, attendees have shouted out and shared details of ‘free speech’-focused social media apps like Phoenix Social Network, Parler and Spreely [‘Speak Freely’] where they can further engage and share ideas once they head home.” 

This has been a common practice on the right, not only gathering in the streets to incite violence and uphold their supremacy, but also to bring others to their cause, and to connect in ways that they have not been able to in the past. 

Evans also highlights, “On these apps and others, there have been repeated calls for armed violence and the execution of elected political leaders over recent months. Perhaps more troubling was evidence that formerly disconnected chunks of the right-wing and fascist media ecosystems have started to coalesce in more cohesive ways.” 

These far-right organizers have been able to remain unchallenged by the state in their efforts, and Jan. 6 is just another example of the way that white supremacist violence has been given the space to thrive. 

With very clear threats on record and a march on the capital planned in plain sight, there was more than enough time and ability for the state to organize a response to counter the march. Yet no such effort was made. A minimal amount of security was planned for the day and the right-wing extremists were able to break through the sparse line of riot cops with ease. Making their way into the capitol building, breaking windows, climbing walls, and assaulting officers in their efforts to reach the house floor, with 5 deaths and dozens of injuries in the process. 

In the days following this event the narrative surrounding the attack disseminated by mainstream news sources has been problematic. From questions surrounding the breach of the capitol and the false narrative that “poor-planning” and “security and intelligence failures” were the culprit. When, in reality, the truth is much more troubling. They had every opportunity to plan, the intelligence was out in the open, and it has been made very clear from the turnout by police and National Guard in D.C. at BLM marches earlier in the year that security is no real problem when they want it.

The question of how this was allowed to happen is really no question at all. It is a simple matter of the ingrained white supremacy of this country. When Black, Indigenous, or people of color come out we are met with massive amounts of state resistance. When white people come out, they are basically escorted around the premises. 

Whiteness and its desires are no challenge to the state. White supremacy, colonialism and violence are America. These are what have built the very foundations of this country. As such, this sort of action is no real threat to the state as it exists today, in fact they just work to uphold the white supremacist state that currently exists.

As such, Joe Biden’s vow to “defeat domestic terrorism” would in no way protect us from further acts of white supremacist violence. America already has some of the strictest laws regarding terrorism, and some of the most advanced counter-terrorism techniques. Yet, none of these were used in order to prevent the planned attack on Jan. 6. These laws and tactics are almost exclusively used against left-wing BIPOC organizers and actions.

A war on “domestic terror” will really mean a war on BIPOC fighting for radical equality. The massive transformation needed to achieve this sort of equality is a threat to the very state of America today. The demands made by the BLM movement threaten to uproot the system that is currently in place and remove the power that has been granted to white people in this country. 

This movement has been met with massive amounts of state repression and violence in an effort to maintain its power over people of color in this nation. And any further power granted to the state in the name of defeating domestic terror will not be used in the fight against white supremacy, it will be used to silence the dissent of Black, Indigenous, people of color fighting for our lives. There is no threat in white supremacist violence to America, and it has been made abundantly clear that we cannot trust the state to stand against it.