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Opinion: White Privilege, Supremacy, and Ignorance: The 2021 Insurrection

In July of 2016, Donald Trump was officially named the presidential nominee of the Grand Old Party (GOP, also referred to as the Republican party), despite his horrific racist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments and actions from the time of his campaign to legislation passed in office. From then on, he would radicalize an army of his own, one fueled by fascism, nationalism, and bigotry. One that created a false god out of president in a country where democracy is supposed to be the bare minimum.

On Jan. 6, 2021, although not explicitly ordered but incited by Trump, thousands of his supporters stormed the capitol building threatening congress members and in an effort to somehow turn the results of the election in Trump’s favor. A “Save America” rally that day turned into an insurrection in the name of white privilege, supremacy, and ignorance. 

However, the ruinous nature of white supremacy is not a new concept, but something embedded in the threads of our nation, woven to inevitably create a false sense of racial superiority above others, no matter the economic status, gender, or other factors beyond race. 

During the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest in the summer of 2020, there is clear evidence of the law enforcements’ excessive violence. The same cannot be said for what took place at the Capitol. Some of the police were calm with the ‘protesters’. They talked with them, laughed with them, took selfies with them. Some of the police even participated in the event. Not only does this confirm the horrific double standard, but also offers more validity to the notion that the police are not on People of Color’s (POC) side. It is an institution that is inherently racist in itself.

donald trump exiting a campaign speech
Photo by Gage Skidmore distributed under a CC BY-SA 2.0 license

These people mistook themselves for patriots, martyrs who bleed out red, white, and blue. But they are nothing but entitled, willfully ignorant nationalists who have never been faced with and or are blind to any injustice. This white entitlement and fragility that created these detrimental and fatal systems will be the death of this country and has already caused the death of many. They compare themselves to BLM protesters in their form of “direct action” but fail to understand that the intention has to be valid– and theirs was far from it.

Trump put America on a tremendous screen for other countries to snicker and scowl at, completely disregarding the struggles of the people that have to call this place home. He drove people to become insane, tactless conspiracy theorists with no regard for others who would die for him.

In a nation where a black man’s murder becomes both product placement and ad revenue for companies and a debate on whether or not his life mattered, I plead white people to educate themselves. Look into black revolutionary theory, open a web browser for research, and your eyes to history. Do not simply rely on POC to rant about their struggles. The one thing we all have in common is love and the desire to be loved, our country has always lacked it.

Journalism and political science major, Ashley Edwards, is an aspiring investigative journalist and or policy analyst with an affinity for bleu cheese sauce. She is in love with research, copy editing, crocheting, reading, adventuring, and music. Her writing on various topics, from crypto-currency's impact on art to various subject matter with social media lore, captivates readers of all kinds. Edwards is thankful to be a part of Her Campus and ecstatic for what the future holds. Follow Ashley on social media! Linktree is attached.
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