Infantilization of white supremacists needs to stop

White+domestic+terrorists+%28aka+school+shooters%29+are+dismissed+as+troubled+kids+who+need+better+mental+health+resources%2C+while+last+summer%2C+a+young+Black+girl+was+jailed+for+not+completing+her+homework.+Information+on+the+Capitol+Hill+riots+was+being+circulated+weeks+prior+to+the+event%2C+being+written+off+as+harmless%2C+as+not+actually+dangerous.+But+it+was.

Mimi Huelster

White domestic terrorists (aka school shooters) are dismissed as troubled kids who need better mental health resources, while last summer, a young Black girl was jailed for not completing her homework. Information on the Capitol Hill riots was being circulated weeks prior to the event, being written off as harmless, as not actually dangerous. But it was.

America does not take its white supremacy seriously enough. And it is destroying us.

On January 6, masses of Trump supporters swarmed the United States Capitol intending to stage a coup on the nation’s government. Among Trump’s cronies were people sporting all sorts of white supremacist signs, from neo-Nazi slogans to QAnon conspiracy jargon to Proud Boy attire. And protection for the Capitol? Nowhere in sight.

Compare the scene to this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by the murder of George Floyd here in Minneapolis and further inflamed by the lynchings of countless other innocent Black people at the hands of the police across the country. When the protests reached Washington D.C., an entire platoon of National Guard members and riot police were stationed on the Capitol steps and in the streets, unleashing tear gas and rubber bullets into seas of peaceful protestors.

On May 29, President Trump tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” This statement was aimed directly at Black Lives Matter protestors.

Last Wednesday, our country’s very same leader told the violent mob he incited, “We love you. You’re very special… but you have to go home.”

Most sane and not-evil people would be appalled and shocked at Trump’s statement — “We don’t love white supremacists! That’s not who we are here!” But it is.

Time and time again, America has excused its white supremacist tenants. White domestic terrorists (aka school shooters) are dismissed as troubled kids who need better mental health resources, while last summer, a young Black girl was jailed for not completing her homework. Children who torment their peers of color are viewed as “too young” or “too immature” to understand the consequences of their cruelty fully. The same goes for those who use the N-word and other racial slurs.

We have forgotten one crucial thing: just because someone appears dumb does not mean they’re stupid.”

When those who have committed such hateful acts against people of color are called out on their behavior, more likely than not, their apology (if there is one, to begin with) includes a part about being “uneducated.” While people should be allowed to learn and grow from their past, using the argument of ignorance is inane. The victimization of POC should not be a launchpad for a white person’s personal growth. If anything, the plea of innocence should be viewed as a tool used by white supremacists to avoid accountability for their actions. Instead of accepting growth in racial awareness from white people, we must prevent it from being necessary in the first place.

Back to the Capitol. There has been a question that has arisen nearly everywhere surrounding the insurrection that transpired — why was there such a lack of security?

Leading up to the riot, Trump supporters on nearly every social media platform, from Twitter and Facebook and even TikTok, had been warning the world for January 6. And they were met with silence. Sometimes laughter.

Then, we were shown up close and personal that Trump’s people knew how to organize. And the people who were supposed to keep us safe ignored it.

We have been taught over the last four years to ridicule the Trump administration. And rightfully so, because it, at times, has been downright hilarious. But in the process, we have forgotten one crucial thing: just because someone appears dumb does not mean they’re stupid. By incessantly mocking Trump, America has come to infantilize his supporters. “If bumbling orange man with tiny hands and toupee so dumb, then how his supporters commit domestic terrorism?”

The dismissal of Trump supporters and the white supremacy that fuels them is not everyday Twitter comedians’ fault, though. It is the very system of ideals we are all a part of. It must change, and quickly. Otherwise, who knows what our next January 6 event could be.