Rep. Hakeem Jeffries’ (D-N.Y.) is one of those people who thinks there’s a difference between violent Black Lives Matter riots and the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and anyone who compares the two is "playing the race card."
In a February 8 interview with the Washington Post's David Ignatius, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, who had served as a House manager in Trump’s first impeachment trial, said it's "sad and pathetic" to accuse Democrats of egging on BLM violence and comparing it to what happened on Capitol Hill.
Ignatius brought up how Trump’s lawyer, Bruce Castor, recently told Fox News that “He’s been reviewing video footage of violent protests last year at federal courthouses and other buildings in Portland and elsewhere, and that he plans to introduce that video evidence as part of the defense of former president Trump.”
Ignatius then asked Jeffries his thoughts on the “appropriateness of that evidence being submitted."
“Yeah, it’s wildly inappropriate, sad and pathetic, and I think it’s evidence of the fact that Donald Trump and his lawyers don’t really have any good defense on the merits with respect to the fact that the former president did actually incite a violent insurrection," Jeffries answered.
If that’s how Jeffries’ logic on inciting violence works, then he surely shouldn’t object to putting Black Lives Matter leaders on trial. After all, they incited numerous violent riots throughout America last year which caused incomparably larger amounts of destruction then the assault on the Capitol on January 6th did.
But according to Jeffries, there’s no reason to put BLM on trial. In fact, he asserted that it was inappropriate of Trump’s defense to submit the BLM protest footage because it was racially discriminatory against the Black Lives Matter movement.
“When all else fails and you don’t have a defense on the merits, 'play the race card' is apparently the strategy of Donald Trump and his lawyers,” he went on. “Now this should be no surprise, David, because this is a president who has fanned the flames of racial hatred throughout the duration of his presidency, prior to his presidency as a candidate, and also as a private citizen.”
Apparently it's racist to compare such lowly, underhanded tactics of the January 6 rioters to the noble, righteous actions of the BLM movement. But considering that both assaulted buildings and caused physical harm to others, it’s hard to distinguish the difference between the two - that is, aside from the fact that BLM spent a whole year wreaking havoc around the nation, which Democrats ignored, while there was only one January 6 riot that lasted a grand total of a few hours.
After that, the Democrats suddenly became interested in riots, for some reason.
“It should not surprise us that he wants to create some kind of false equivalence by raising the specter of the Black Lives Matter movement as some type of fake and phony and false defense,” Jeffries later stated.
It would seem that his blindness to BLM’s savage nature knows no bounds. Later in the interview, when talking about instituting a domestic terrorism law, Jeffries said that while "hard left" violence should also be condemned, it's the "white supremacy type groups" who are the only real, tangible threat in the U.S.
“Violence in any form is problematic and has no place in our democracy, whether it comes from the hard right or the hard left, or at any point in between," he said. "That said, the FBI and the intelligence officials and others have made clear that the most significant threat to the homeland in terms of domestic terrorist type of activity, comes from hard, right, white supremacy type groups and militias who are bent on enacting their ideology using violent means, and many of these groups were apparently involved in the January 6 insurrection.”
“Hard, right, white supremacy groups and militias” didn’t pillage American cities for no good reason. “Hard, right, white supremacy groups and militias” didn’t leave a path of destruction in their wake for the better part of 2020. Sure, white supremacy groups and militias should not be trusted or endorsed. But who really was “enacting their ideology using violent means” innumerable times throughout last year? Hint: not neo-Nazis.
It will be interesting to see what the results are of submitting the Portland protest footage as evidence. Perhaps this might shed more light on BLM’s crimes.