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On Wednesday, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) issued the following statement on the difference in treatment between protests this summer against racial injustice and last week’s attack on the U.S. Capitol:

“This summer, millions of Americans protested the killings of Black men and women and demanded changes in a society that still ignores, undervalues, and discriminates on the basis of race.

In Washington, demonstrators were met with rubber bullets, tear gas, and brutal beatings. Military personnel and equipment were deployed throughout the city, and ultimately it was used to brutally squash demonstrations – beginning on the day that President Trump used military force to stage his own photo op.

Last week, a different group converged on our nation’s capital. This group was not peaceful, it was largely white, and instead of being insulted by our President, they were invited by him. They stormed the Capitol, ransacked the halls of government, and even when reinforcements arrived to expel them – this group was allowed to walk out the front door and get a head start on evading the authorities.

I know that many black and brown Americans saw last week as another clear reminder of the difference that race still makes in America. Violence and destruction can and should be equally condemned, but if it is met with unequal force then we reinforce the reality that being White and a criminal in America can get you caught, but being Black and innocent in America can get you killed.

Promoting racial justice and dismantling structural racism must remain a priority as we move forward and heal from the events of last week.”