Michelle Obama Says Capitol Extremists Treated Differently To Black Lives Matter Protests
Michelle Obama has expressed her sadness, grief and utter devastation at the scenes that played out in Washington D.C. yesterday.
The former First Lady was one of many who could only watch in horror as Trump extremists rallied outside the Capitol building before some broke in and caused chaos inside.
Four people died, many were injured, offices were damaged and faith in America's democracy was fractured.
After taking some time to compile her thoughts, Mrs Obama said the riots were shocking for multiple reasons.
"Like all of you, I watched as a gang-organized, violent, and mad they'd lost an election-laid siege to the United States Capitol," she said in a statement.
"They set up gallows. They proudly waved the traitorous flag of the Confederacy through the halls. They desecrated the center of American government.
"And once authorities finally gained control of the situation, these rioters and gang members were led out of the building not in handcuffs, but free to carry on with their days."
Out of the hundreds of people who gathered and rioted at the Capitol yesterday, around 70 were arrested, with most of the charges being for violating curfew.
There was also a video that was circulating on social media that showed police officers posing for photos with some of the extremists while they were inside the Capitol.
One man managed to break into Nancy Pelosi's office and was pictured outside with mail addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representative.
The former First Lady said none of those incidents would have been allowed to happen if the protestors were black or campaigning under the Black Lives Matter movement.
"It all left me with so many questions-questions about the future, questions about security, extremism, propaganda, and more," Mrs Obama said.
"But there's one question I just can't shake: What if these rioters had been like the folks who go to Ebenezer Baptist Church every Sunday? What would have been different?
"I think we all know the answer. This summer's Black Lives Matter protests were an overwhelmingly peaceful movement-our nation's largest demonstrations ever, bringing together people of every race and class and encouraging millions to re-examine their own assumptions and behavior.
"And yet, in city after city, day after day, we saw peaceful protestors met with brute force. We saw cracked skulls and mass arrests, law enforcement pepper spraying its way through a peaceful demonstration for a presidential photo op.
"And for those who call others unpatriotic for simply taking a knee in silent protest, for those who wonder why we need to be reminded that Black Lives Matter at all, yesterday made it painfully clear that certain Americans are, in fact, allowed to denigrate the flag and symbols of our nation.
"They've just got to look the right way. What do all those folks have to say now?"
The Becoming author has called on lawmakers who previously supported Trump to publicly condemn him to ensure his voter base understands the gravity of yesterday's events.