President-elect Joe Biden stated Thursday rioters who stormed the United States Capitol earlier this week were treated “very differently” than Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Biden took a moment to address the rioting and violence at the beginning of the press conference in Wilmington, Deleware where he introduced his appointees for the Department of Justice. Biden has promised to make addressing racial inequalities a central component of his administration.
Biden told the audience that when the news of the rioting first broke, his grandaughter sent him a photo taken last year of “military people… linning the steps of the Lincoln Memorial because of the protest by Black Lives Matter.”
“She said, ‘Pop, this isn’t fair. No one can tell me that if that had been a group of Black Lives Matter, protesting yesterday, they would have been treated very, very different than the mob of thugs that stormed the capitol,’” Biden said.
“We all know that’s true and it is unacceptable, totally unacceptable,” the president-elect added. “The American people saw it in plain view and I hope it sensitized them to what we have to do.”
Biden said his administration would seek to restore the focus of the Justice Department to its “original spirit,” which is to “enforce the civil rights amendments that grew out of the Civil War… to stand up to racism, to take on domestic terrorism.”
“As we stand here today, we do so in the wake of yesterday’s events,” Biden said. “Events that could not more vividly demonstrate some of the most important work we have to do in this nation.”
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris rebuked the alleged response disparity from law enforcement when given a chance to speak, while at the same press conference.
“We witnessed two systems of justice when we saw one that let extremists storm the United States Capitol and another that released tear gas on peaceful protesters last summer,” Harris said invoking the BLM protests that broke out after George Floyd’s death in police custody.
“We know this is unacceptable,” she added. “We know that we should be better than this.”
During the running for the White House last year, Biden and Harris often referred to the contest between themselves and Trump as a “battle for the soul of the nation.” Biden promised throughout the campaign if elected his administration would “root out systemic racism” and strengthen voting rights for communities of color.