January 6, 2021 - Attack on the U.S. Capitol Shows White Male Grievance Politics


The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, meant to disrupt the counting of electoral college vote certification, not only reveals the dangerous political divides in the U.S. and the effects of Trump’s rhetoric denouncing the validity of election results, but also illuminates the white male grievance politics that Trump mined in both of his presidential campaigns. In many analyses of the Capitol insurrection, experts offer insights into how gender and race both motivated mobs who stormed the Capitol and yielded treatment that is hugely disparate from that faced by largely Black and Brown racial justice protesters. Sociologist Jackson Katz speaks with Ms. about white masculinity and the Capitol insurrection. He also speaks with NPR about how the insurrection is a culmination of Trump’s “macho politics.” For The Atlantic, Megan Garber puts the January 6th insurrection in the context of Trump’s masculinist approach to the presidency and campaigning, noting his comments at the rally that spurred rioters to attack the Capitol, as well has his reported ultimatum to Vice President Pence before Pence left for the U.S. Capitol to certify election results: “You can either go down in history as a patriot, or you can go down in history as a pussy.” The Lily investigates the white male privilege evident in how rioters were treated. Chidozie Obasi elaborates on this point for Harper’s Bazaar and Rashawn Ray analyzes it in relation to race and law enforcement for the Brookings Institution.