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Leonard Greene is a columnist for New York Daily News.
The more a congressional investigation reveals about the Jan. 6 insurrection, the more outrageous it is that anyone would try to compare it to the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation after George Floyd was murdered.
It’s not even apples and oranges. It’s apples and tractor trailer parts.
And the fact that an American football coach could still be employed after trivializing the violent assault on our government as nothing more than a “dust-up” says so much about what’s wrong with our country right now.
In the days before the Jan. 6 hearings started, Jack Del Rio, the defensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders, weighed in with a controversial tweet.
“Would love to understand ‘the whole story’ about why the summer of riots, looting, burning and the destruction of personal property is never discussed but this is ???” the coach wrote.
Then he doubled down in remarks to reporters after a team practice.
“People’s livelihoods are being destroyed, businesses are being burned down — no problem,” Del Rio said. “And then we have a dust-up at the Capitol, nothing burned down — and we’re gonna make that a major deal?”
Del Rio’s specialty is defense, but he sounded more like the offensive coordinator.
Key word: Offensive.
Del Rio apologized, was fined $100,000 and deleted his Twitter account, straight out of the lack of accountability playbook.
But the damage was already done.
Add Del Rio to the growing list of big mouths who wrongly assume that exercising their First Amendment right to free speech means saying anything they want without consequences.
“Dust-up,” he said. “Nothing burned down.”
What riot did he see?
Because the one revisited last week by the congressional committee shows an angry lynch mob hellbent on literally hanging Mike Pence, the vice president of the United States, whose fuse-burning boss did all but tie the noose.
“Maybe our supporters have the right idea,” then-President Donald Trump told staffers at the time, according to U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, the vice chair of the House select committee investigating Jan. 6.
What insurrection did Del Rio see?
Because the one revealed in new, behind-the-scenes footage during the hearings showed frenzied rioters and traitors relentlessly assaulting police officers, threatening elected leaders and storming the venerable halls of government.
Shots were fired in the Capitol, where elected officials were huddled under their desks. Insurgents were walking door to door shouting, “Where the f—- are they,” and “Trump won that election.”
“It was carnage. It was chaos,” Cheney said. “It was just hours of hand-to-hand combat, hours of dealing with things that were way beyond any law enforcement officer has ever trained for.”
Some dust up.
At least the Black Lives Matters demonstrators were protesting something real, not some voter fraud lie concocted by the Contriver-in-Chief.
George Floyd died, with a police officer’s knee in his neck. He was on the ground in handcuffs. Everybody saw it.
Donald Trump lost an election. Nobody stole it from him. He sicced a mob on America, and everybody saw it.
‘We will never give up,” Trump said that day. “We will never concede. It doesn’t happen. If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Apples and oranges. It’s more like apples and costume jewelry designs.
There is no comparison.