President-elect Joe Biden condemned what he sees as a double standard in the way that law enforcement responded to the predominantly white mob of pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday compared with the way law enforcement has treated Black Lives Matter demonstrators.
“What we saw yesterday in plain view was another violation of the fundamental tenets of this nation,” Biden said on Thursday in an appearance announcing his appointments to lead the Department of Justice. “Not only did we see the failure to protect one of the three branches of our government, we also saw a clear failure to carry out equal justice.”
“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday … they wouldn’t have been treated very, very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol,” he added. “We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable ― totally unacceptable. The American people saw it in plain view and I hope it sensitises them to what we have to do.”
In his remarks, Biden condemned the pro-Trump rioters as “insurrectionists” and “domestic terrorists.”
“They weren’t protesters,” he declared. “Don’t you dare call them protesters.”
Biden also slammed President Donald Trump in strong terms, blaming him for “inciting a mob to attack the Capitol to threaten elected representatives of the people of this nation, and even the vice president, to stop the Congress ratifying the will of the American people and a just completed, free and fair election.”
Trump, Biden continued, was “trying to use a mob to silence the voices of nearly 160 million Americans who summoned the courage in the face of the pandemic that has threatened our health and our lives to cast that sacred ballot.”
Biden commended judges for rejecting Trump’s lawsuits challenging the election results, arguing that they showed the enduring importance of the country’s democratic institutions.
“Our president is not above the law,” he said. “Justice serves the people. It doesn’t protect the powerful.”