The NAACP called out President Donald Trump over his yearslong attack on Colin Kaepernick for peacefully protesting racism, after Trump supporters stormed the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
The Capitol went on lockdown as pro-Trump rioters breached the building, banging on the main entrance of the House chamber and shattering glass windows. Photos and videos posted online show the insurrectionists breaching legislative offices.
Trump, who has often derided Kaepernick’s peaceful protests against racial injustice as unpatriotic, initially responded to the riots by tweeting, “stay peaceful.” He did not tell his supporters to stop rioting in that tweet.
“And you thought ‘Taking A Knee’ was too much!?!” the official Twitter account for the NAACP tweeted.
The civil rights organization has also since called for Trump’s impeachment.
“The pattern of President Trump’s misconduct is unmistakable and has proven time and time again that it is a grave threat and harm to the fragile fabric of our country,” a statement from NAACP President Derrick Johnson read in part.
Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, famously led peaceful protests against racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games. The league has been widely accused of blackballing the activist, who has remained unsigned by any team since he became a free agent after the 2016 season.
Trump has often used Twitter as a medium to complain about NFL protests. In September 2017, he encouraged fans to protest the league to get players to stop kneeling.
“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast,” he tweeted. “Fire or suspend!”
Trump also called NFL players who peacefully protested sons of bitches during a stump speech for former Sen. Luther Strange in Huntsville, Alabama, that same month.
In May, the president tweeted a threat that people protesting the police killing of George Floyd would have been met with the “most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” if they had breached the White House fence.
Many people on social media Wednesday called out the Trump administration’s response to the rioters at the Capitol, saying that the police response would have been profoundly different if they had been Black Lives Matter protesters.
Trump has, for months, spread false claims about widespread voter fraud. He had urged his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol during a rally earlier on Wednesday, and since November, has repeatedly lied that the election was somehow stolen.
The president eventually told supporters in a video message tweeted later on Wednesday to “go home,” but he again falsely claimed that the election was stolen.
The Twitter account for the NAACP later responded to a tweet by The Grio’s White House correspondent April D. Ryan describing efforts to remove Trump from office. “Get him out of OUR office!” the civil rights organization tweeted.