It is being demanded that we view yesterday’s events in DC as if they occurred without precedent, in a vacuum, nothing of relevance preceding them. Right-wing Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building, vandalized, fought with police, wreaked havoc, and there was no catalyst for any of it, no underlying reason, other than Donald Trump and his incitement. That is how we are meant to see it. But if we see it that way, whatever lessons we take from this week will be the wrong ones.
We do not need to widen our lens very much to see that the rioting and violence on Capitol Hill this week happened after many months of violent left-wing riots, all of which were defended, even romanticized, by prominent voices in the media and government. It is not “whataboutism” to point this out. It is not “whataboutism” to observe that this latest bit of chaos did not erupt in a void, mysteriously disconnected from all