Listen: All politicians lie. All of them stretch the truth, embellish their records and say the things their constituents want said out loud regardless of how factual the statements are. Officials in both parties do this habitually. But its members of the far-right Republican party who routinely disregard obvious and easily fact-checkable truth just like they disregard the lived experience of every racial demographic that doesn’t systematically forgo the washcloth when they bathe. (I’m kidding. Kinda.)
It’s why white nationalist Barbie prototype Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene can, as an elected official in a House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, falsely define critical race theory as a “racist curriculum used to teach children that somehow their white skin is not equal to black skin and other things,” while also erroneously claiming a single school in Chicago received all $5.1 billion in federal funding meant for the entire state of Illinois and used every cent of the money on equity and diversity initiatives. And in response to all of that lying, Republicans largely defended her by stretching themselves into a noose knot to explain how Greene simply misspoke. (Also, I’ll point out that even in her loud, wrong and racist description of CRT, Greene makes it clear that when she references “children” she’s defaulting to white children, but whatever.)
Anyway, on Sunday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy went on WhiteSeditionistLovers.com—sorry, I mean, Fox News—and essentially declared that white Jan. 6 rioters are being treated unfairly because no one got arrested at Black Lives Matter protests. He was defending his decision to grant access to more than 40,000 hours of security video from the Capitol on the day of the riot to Tucker Carlson, who described most of the people who entered the building as “peaceful, orderly and meek.”
“My goal here is transparency. And we will slowly roll out to every individual news agency,” McCarthy said, adding that he “learned” the Jan. 6 Committee “was not honest” about the amount of footage that was available.
“The one thing I understand in America, we should have equal justice,” he continued. “Why did I watch cities burn, federal agencies or something? And nobody arrested there? I think we should have equal justice across this country and we should have transparency.”
Please tell me that McCarthy is out here trying to make a “two Americas” argument that cites white conservatives as the marginalized and oppressed group. But that’s not even my point.
McCarthy appears to be arguing that during the massive protests over systemic racism in 2020—the vast majority of which were peaceful—no one was arrested like the poor mistreated Caucasi-D-day rioters. This is an argument often used by MAGA rubes in defense of other MAGA rubes who broke through barricades, attacked police officers and scaled the building. And it would be a fine argument if it weren’t 100% untrue.
In fact, literally thousands of people were arrested during civil unrest that happened during the protests that emerged across the country after the murder of George Floyd. The FBI even used Facebook and other social media platforms to track down protesters who were suspected of inciting riots.
But no, I’m sure the poor perpetrators of the Klan-is Klash at the Kapitol are victims of a reverse Jim Crow justice system run overwhelmingly by fellow white people.
Mind you, this riot only happened because a Republican president told a “big lie” over and over again that was obvious and easily fact-checkable, one 147 Republican legislators voted to overturn a legal election based on.
No one who rioted during BLM protests attacked a government building and attempted to overthrow the government in order to keep the losing president in power and essentially cancel democracy. McCarty’s false whataboutism is just a distraction from that fact.
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