Saturday, January 09, 2021

A riot? Really?

Regarding the events a few days ago on January 6th at the Capitol in Washington D.C.:

I'm going to share some thoughts found on another forum.  And I think there's a very valid point being made. It's something that, to my shame, I had not realized. And I wish that I had already because it doesn't reflect well on my studies of media...

There was no "riot" at all. What we have seen was through the lenses of several cameras that were transmitting streaming video from inside the Capitol. There were a lot of people inside because Capitol police had respectfully allowed them inside. The acts of vandalism, the breaking into the Senate chambers, the smearing of feces (eeewwww...) etc., those were the works of a few agitators and there is speculation now that they were already poised well in advance of any who had attended the actual rally. Perhaps a few thousand dollars of damage was done.
The ones who perpetrated the acts of vandalism - like "horn-head guy" - have been or are being arrested and will be made to face justice. But other than those relatively few, there was no criminal or seditious behavior on the part of those present.
As usually happens, perceptions get magnified by the camera. It occurs all too often. Except this time, maybe by virtue of it being streamed live in close proximity to the action, those perceptions were made even larger. Our eyes were focused on the inside of the Capitol. Outside the Capitol the scene was much less raucous. There were no torches and pitchforks carried by an unruly mob. The people from the rally were doing what they in large part had intended to do all along: mass outside the Capitol.
I'm looking anew at some of the footage of what happened. It's like the difference between night and day, in contrast to what I saw a few days ago.
It's something I'm going to try to be more mindful of from now on.