Black Lives Matter Protest vs. Stop the Steal Protest
By: Emma Hernandez
As most of us know by now a new protest has occurred taking place at our nation’s capital. Stop the Steal is a protest against the counting of electoral votes. Some Republicans and Trump supporters believe the 2020 Presidential Election was far from fair. Before this occurred the Black Lives Matter protests became very prominent in June of last Summer. The protests of 2020 started after George Floyd, an African American citizen, was murdered by former officer Derek Chauvin. This unnecessary police brutality enraged much of the public.
Let’s begin with analyzing the events in the BLM protest and alleged riots. In the fight against police brutality people were maced and shot with rubber bullets by the police themselves. Some protesters remained on the more peaceful side of things while others acted rather violently. BLM protesters broke into buildings setting multiple fires throughout Portland. Dumpster fires were lit in an attempt to block roads to prevent police from intervening. Some people decided to take advantage of the protest and loot multiple buildings. Eli Aswan, Elliot Broaster, and Janice Wilbourn, all African Americans, had their business raided and destroyed by looters. Eli and Elliot were both stolen from while Janice’s shop was vandalized. An American flag was hung in the front window of Janice’s shop. “I just wanted to tell people I was proud of where I’m from,” Janice says, “but maybe that made us into a target.” in a quote from a Los Angeles Times article. Although BLM supporters may not take responsibility for any groups that broke away to loot they should definitely consider that the looting and rioting was a result of the BLM protest in general.
Now, time to go into depth about the more current Stop the Steal protest. This protest was an attempt to stop the certification of the Electoral College results and to keep President Trump in office. On Wednesday, January 6th, protesters, in support of Donald Trump, marched on our nation’s capital. They outpowered the guards and forced their way into the Capitol Building where they then did as they pleased. Windows were broken but unlike the BLM protest no fires were lit. So far there have been five deaths at the Stop the Steal protest which is much less than the BLM protest. There have been fewer arrests made by the police during the Stop the Steal protest than in the BLM protest but people who stormed the Capitol weren’t protesting against the police which may be why the police didn’t arrest as many people. Whereas the people who participated in the BLM protest were protesting against the police, some even wanted police to resign which may have led to both groups of protester being treated differently.
Some people call the Stop the Steal protesters “idiots” or “sore losers” but to me they’re people who are protesting for what they believe in. The United States has been built on a system where everyone can believe what they’d like to, which is justified by the First Amendment. Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. I don’t support either parties because I view the world from a rather non political spectrum. It is unfair to call Stop the Steal protesters and BLM protester derogatory names, which some people have done. It’s a matter of respecting the other side even if you don’t agree with their beliefs. In the end all of us are fighting for something. In some cases it may be something rather small or something really important. At the end of the day we’re all people who all have the right to protest for what we believe is right.