I couldn’t get two weeks into the new year without reading another Christine Flowers piece and be compelled to write my opinion on her opinion. 

She starts with the headline – ‘Capitol riots weren’t about race.’

I think I’m like most people who look at headlines before reading and take a few guesses what the article is about. Here were my first few guesses of what I thought her article was going to be about…

  • Why black people didn’t attend the riot.
  • What if black people attended the riot.
  • Were black people not invited to attend the riot?
  • White people knew they couldn’t storm the capitol if black people were with them.

I was working when the riot started and three people texted me asking if I was watching. All three people were white. I know a whole lot more black people than white people and not one black person took the time to ask me if I was watching the riot. Why, because black people could care less about white folks acting crazy on TV. 

Flowers asks, ‘Why should we be surprised that at a time when everything is supposed to be about race, the most disturbing and consequential attack on our civic body in decades ends up being all about the color of the protesters/terrorists?’ 

Maybe if it was an integrated event, no one would bring up the race thing. But, when an angry mob of all white people get busy, it’s hard not to notice it’s all white people. 

Flowers says, ‘the conversation turned from “why did they do it?” to “who caused it?” to “why weren’t they stopped?” to “it’s because they were white.”’ 

I’m not sure who asked those questions in that order. I think everyone knew why they did it; most people knew who caused it; everyone was asking why weren’t they stopped; and it was immediately obvious to black people that only white people could get away with it. I don’t think it took too long for white people to come to that same conclusion if they even considered race during the rucous.

Flowers doesn’t like the radio interviews of black people saying, ‘if the protesters had been Black or brown people, they would have been shot dead before they even launched that first brick through the window.’ 

It’s such a no-brainer, who would even waste their breath to say that on the radio? There is no reason to compare white and black riots in terms of police response. Everyone already knows what the response will be. 

Flowers says the very mention of race in the capitol riot is ‘a manipulative attempt to exploit the racial divide that deepened this past year.’ 

I wouldn’t call it manipulative or exploitive. It’s simply a statement of fact. 

She has a problem when people ‘make sure to put race front and center, even when it’s only tangential to the larger story.’ 

I think that really depends on what you think the larger story is. For Flowers, it’s all about…

…people who took the law into their own hands and became violent predators on the civic body. These are Republicans who cannibalized themselves, and in the process, alienated so many of us that it will take more than a generation to fix the damage. This was not about the color of criminals, or their gender, or what hashtag movement they embrace.

To that I agree. It isn’t about the color of criminals if all criminals are treated equally by law enforcement. I’d ask Flowers… 

  • Are all those people who stormed the capitol, criminals? 
  • Should some be considered peaceful protestors? 
  • How do you separate the peaceful ones from the ones there to destroy?

Flowers says, ‘The fact that they are trying to make it a referendum on “violent white Americans” as opposed to “peaceful Americans of color” is as despicable as it is predictable.’ 

But, if there is an angry mob of white people breaking into the capitol building and a peaceful group of black people walking down the middle of the street, and the angry mob of white people are met with a few under resourced crime fighters, and the peaceful black people are met with an overwhelming number of police and military personnel with guns, tanks, and munitions, the referendum is really easy to make no matter how despicable or predictable it is. 

She said she ‘won’t stand by while some people pretend that this is all about race or political ideology. To suggest that the Capitol police let white people rampage when they would have murdered brothers of other colors is a slander.’

I can only sigh in disbelief that she could even write those words.

A former military man shared his disgust with me on the capitol siege. He said it’s not that easy to take over a government building, especially in Washington, DC. The only way they got as far as they did is because they were allowed to get that far. He said it was unfortunate that the world was fed this false narrative that our military is so inept that they would allow such a thing to happen. He thought that was the biggest travesty of the entire situation.