Senator Shelby is correct — The politicization of justice when it comes to political violence is out of control
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) is 100% correct in calling out the Department of Justice and prosecutors around the country for their willingness to equally prosecute rioters and criminals across the country.
For years, America has been gripped by a series of protests that far too often turned violent and directly led to attacks on police and property damage, The protests indirectly fueled rage in communities that most need some law and order.
What was done? Very little.
But when the U.S. Capitol was attacked, we heard that violence in the streets was unacceptable (at least for that day).
This is what led Alabama’s senior senator to point out that unequal justice is destructive to our society.
Shelby, who was speaking at the Senate Committee on Appropriations’ hearing focused on domestic violent extremism, said, “The rule of law – the very foundation upon which America was built – is paramount to our future as Americans and the future of our democracy. Selective enforcement of our nation’s laws erodes that foundation.”
The American media, both locally and nationally, aided these movements.
They didn’t just ignore the clear misdeeds and criminality of these movements — they lied to the American people regularly about what we saw.
Burning buildings? Mostly peaceful.
Throwing rocks at police? People are mad.
Increase in crime? Nothing to see here.
Fighting in the streets? White supremacist Proud Boy Boogaloo Boy infiltrators.
Antifa? What’s that?
But when the atrocious attack on the U.S. Capitol took place, the media was sent into a five-plus month tizzy that shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
Why? Because as Shelby noted in his comments, “[Democrats in Congress] would have the American people believe that all domestic violent extremists are far-right wing white supremacists and that all Republicans are complicit in their actions.”
Even as narratives of intentional cop murder via fire extinguisher crumbled, it became clear the people who died there were either old people role-playing as patriots or a veteran shot by a cop.
That cop? No, you can’t know his name.
Here is the thing — the media is right to want accountability for the riot at the U.S. Capitol, but it isn’t the acts of violence they want to be punished. They are punishing wrong think.
This is how we end up with made-up stories of U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and President Donald Trump inciting violence (some have backed off this), claims that U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) was trying to tip-off protesters as to where the vice president was, and even allegations of Republican-led reconnaissance tours.
The violence is clearly bad, and the people involved need to be punished, but we aren’t distinguishing between the aggressive bad actors who fought police while kicking down doors and role-playing idiots who wandered through open doors when they shouldn’t have.
Look at the response to everyone at that event, inside or out, being hunted like they are an enemy of the state.
What happened to the people who were attempting to crash the gate of the White House on May 29, 2020? Nothing.
In fact, the media mocked President Trump when he was moved to a bunker.
There were no arrests or attempts to identify people.
That is wrong.
No one should suggest that the people at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 don’t deserve punishment, but Senator Shelby is correct when he highlights the unequal use of state power to punish people who commit political violence appears to be determined on the politics of those being violent.
Prosecute them all, equally and fairly.