|Portland riot, summer of 2020|
No one I know is defending the Capitol criminal rioters, including those who participated in the rally (and did not breach the Capitol, or even knew it had been breached). Everyone I know thinks those who illegally breached the Capitol on January 6th should be punished. Me, too.
However, many of us also made the same point about last summer's BLM and Antifa riots. Not the genuinely peaceful protesters, just those who set buildings on fire and attacked police officers. You know, crimes. Others, not so much. And therein lies the rub.
I am amazed at the number of acquaintances who vociferously condemn violence at the Capitol, but also those (like me) who don't automatically condemn the President for inciting it. Funny, I don't remember them saying much about last summer's violence or the organizations behind them. If anything, many were supportive of those violent protests and planted "Black Lives Matter" banners on their social media profiles, if not signs in their yards.
If you dare ask where the Capitol riot pearl-clutchers were during last summer's violence, you are immediately accused of "whataboutism" and defending the "insurrectionists." If my Facebook page still was active (I've deactivated it), you would see plenty of examples, especially from never-Trump Republicans with good conservative pedigrees. I expect it from Democrats.
Fortunately, we have this terrific post from City Journal by William Voegeli that delineates between whataboutism and political hypocrisy. It is worth your time.
This quote is a favorite: "Cultural power demolishes universality with situational assertions of relativity: That was then; this is now. If some annoying troll complains about our inconsistency or hypocrisy, we’ll respond with accusations of whataboutism, an update of the credo voiced by Eric Stratton in Animal House: You f---ed up. You took us seriously."
Read the whole thing here:
By William Voegeli