“White privilege is on display.” Ibram X. Kendi, Director of BU’s Center for Antiracist Research, Sounds Off On US Capitol Attack
For so many of us, Wednesday’s attack on the US Capitol unfolded in real time, evoking both sadness and anger. In a matter of minutes, thousands of rally goers, inflamed by the words of President Trump, marched toward the historic Capitol Building, where they were met by some resistance from police, but hardly enough to keep them back. With network TV cameras rolling and news photographers shooting, the world watched in horror as protesters overwhelmed police, climbed stairs and scaled walls, smashed windows and doors, and ultimately breached one of America’s most sacred and secure buildings.
As the scene unfolded across social media, Ibram X. Kendi, one of the nation’s leading scholars on racism, the founding director of BU’s Center for Antiracist Research and BU’s Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities, sent out a series of tweets that spoke for many people, especially Black Americans. They were the ones wondering why their largely peaceful protests over the summer against police brutality had been met with such militarized force, and yet the overwhelmingly white protesters at the Capitol seemed to face virtually no resistance and were seen freely celebrating, wandering the halls of a building they had illegally violated.
Kendi, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of history, shared these thoughts on Twitter:
White privilege is on display like never before in the U.S. Capitol.— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021
If these people were Black. . .well, we all know what would be happening right now to them.
The greatest domestic terrorist threat of our time are White male supremacists who adore Donald J. Trump. But Americans are too blinded by their own racist ideas to see these terrorists for who and what they are. Will today be the day the denial finally ends?— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021
The same reason why the police routinely kill Black people is the same reason why the police are routinely unprepared for White domestic terrorists.— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021
Lest we forget White domestic terrorists have been storming state capitols, plotting to assassinate politicians, super-spreading COVID-19, murdering antiracist protesters and everyday people, and defending murderers.— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021
Today their violent insurrection reached the U.S. Capitol. https://t.co/rwgkOVjtZ3
Just spoke to my 69-year-old mother. First thing she said: "If these people would have been Black, then they ALL would be dead."— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021
I'm worried about DC residents tonight with all these White domestic terrorists roaming, feeling emboldened, knowing the DC police are at the U.S. Capitol. Please, if you can, stay home. Your lives are at risk. The city is under siege.— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021
"White Americans are not afraid of the cops. White Americans are never afraid of the cops. Even when they are committing insurrection." –Just a few words from @JoyAnnReid moments ago on @MSNBC, in one of the most powerful statements I've ever heard on television.— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) January 6, 2021