Arlene Violet: Shameful day in D.C. was predictable

By Arlene Violet
Posted 1/14/21

No matter whatever way you want to slice or dice it, the attack on the Capitol was an attempted coup encouraged by President Donald Trump and his minion, Rudy Giuliani. Look at the rhetoric by Mr. …

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Arlene Violet: Shameful day in D.C. was predictable


No matter whatever way you want to slice or dice it, the attack on the Capitol was an attempted coup encouraged by President Donald Trump and his minion, Rudy Giuliani. Look at the rhetoric by Mr. Trump himself on January 6 when the Inciter-In-Chief urged the crowd to “fight like hell” to save their country and register their displeasure at the Capitol. Implying that he’d be at the Capitol too, the President retreated to the White House to watch the ferment he precipitated. Even after the destruction commenced, the President told the “patriots” that he loved them and that they were “very special”. At the same gathering, Rudy Giuliani chimed in language about being engaged in a battle. The sheep then proceeded to follow these shepherds of anarchy.

You didn’t need to be a soothsayer to know exactly what was going to happen. A dangerous president unleashed a menacing, primarily white, crowd of terrorists. Without evidence of widespread voter fraud, a lack of which 60 judges, including republican-appointed ones, also found lacking, he continued his chant that he was robbed. As despicable as his conduct was in threatening the very foundation of democracy, Mr. Trump’s followers blindly defend him to this day.

In an extremely rare post on Facebook, I expressed my consternation as to what was happening in D.C. Trump supporters proceeded, as I suspected they would, to attack me, cussing and bolstering their antagonism with conspiracy arguments. Some cited the Washington Times article (later retracted by the newspaper) that 3 people attacking the Capitol had been Anitifa members. The quoted source of this assertion repudiated that characterization, stating that their face recognition equipment instead identified leaders of white supremacist organizations. That didn’t stop the doubling down of those assertions and another conspiracy theory that the rioters were all members of Black Lives Matter, trying to make the President look bad, as though that could ever be possible. They drew comparisons between the hoodlums at the Capitol with the Black Lives Matter movement without noting that the actions at the Capitol were fueled by lies while Lafayette Square peaceful protestors were bathed with tear gas and shot with rubber bullets in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.

Mr. Trump exits office on January 20 but what isn’t departing from the country is the army of conspiracy believers, even those here in R.I. With no evidence whatsoever they accuse some democrats of being part of a pedophile ring, and assert a litany of falsehoods to justify what happened on January 6.

Regrettably, the clenched fists at the Capitol and the false equivalencies between BLM protestors and the mob on January 6 will continue unabated. The confederate flag-holding rioters who love police officers when they deploy aggression against black protestors no longer love the Constables on Patrol (COPS) who try to check their trespass. The very spectacle of uncovered white faces, including that of the man who sits with his feet up on Speaker Pelosi’s desk, personifies white male privilege where the perpetrator thinks he will never be accosted or arrested. White women are not off the hook either as they embrace privilege behind the scenes.
Mr. Trump has exited the stage but his acolytes are still stage right.

Arlene Violet is an attorney and former Rhode Island Attorney General.

Arlene Violet

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.