Hakeen Jefferson in FiveThirtyEight –
After weeks of refusing to accept the outcome of the election, President Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol of the United States as members of Congress were meeting to carry out their duties to certify the election results and confirm Joe Biden’s victory.
Much will be said about the fact that these actions threaten the core of our democracy and undermine the rule of law. Commentators and political observers will rightly note that these actions are the result of disinformation and heightened political polarization in the United States.
And there will be no shortage of debate and discussion about the role Trump played in giving rise to this kind of extreme behavior. As we have these discussions, however, we must take care to appreciate that this is not just about folks being angry about the outcome of one election. Nor should we believe for one second that this is a simple manifestation of the president’s lies about the integrity of his defeat.
This is, like so much of American politics, about race, racism and white Americans’ stubborn commitment to white dominance, no matter the cost or the consequence.
Hakeem Jefferson is an assistant professor of political science at Stanford University, where he is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for Comparative Studies of Race & Ethnicity and with the Stanford Center for American Democracy. He is an expert on issues of race and identity in American politics.