Washington unrest. | JIM LO SCALZO


The United States' stark racial inequality was on display after a mob of predominantly white supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol with ease on Wednesday then left with few immediate consequences, according to Washington residents, activists and politicians, including President-elect Joe Biden.

The rioters broke through barricades, smashed windows, snatched souvenirs and entered Congressional offices and chambers, some taking photographs with police.
Some carried trophies with them as they walked out.

The lack of security and limited police response, despite weeks of promotion of the pro-Trump protest that sparked the riot, was in sharp contrast to the largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protests in Washington six months ago.

"My mom said if you did this you'd be shot,»"Beatrice Mando, who works for the district and attended BLM protests last year. "She is right. There would be hundreds dead, if not more, had this group been Black."

In a speech on Thursday, Biden agreed there was a sharp contrast.

"No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn't have been treated very, very differently from the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol," he said.

The United States saw a summer of widespread demonstrations against racial injustice that began in May following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died as a Minneapolis police office knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

In Washington, participants in those protests said their reception was very different.
"There were cops at every intersection in DC. There were cops at all the monuments, at the Capitol, in front of the White House,» said Abby Conejo, 29, who works at a small business in Washington.