We Don’t Negotiate with Terrorists… Unless They’re White Supremacists

Capitol Hill, in Washington, in the snow. Photo courtesy of the public domain photos from the Architect of the Capitol.

Let’s play a game. It’s called “Guess The Threat Level!” On a scale of 1-10, let’s guess the perceived threat of various groups.

  • Black Lives Matter protesters, protesting the police brutality that overwhelmingly affects Black Americans: Threat Level 9
  • Armed, angry white supremacists, hell bent on stopping the certification of a fair election by mounting an armed insurrection at the behest of the now former commander-in-chief and various Congresspeople and Senators: Threat Level 5
  • More white supremacists, the Patriot Front, marching in Washington, DC on January 29: Threat Level 2
  • Children and their parents, armed with sleds, asking to play on the hill in front of the Capitol after living through an incredibly violent and volatile month in the nation’s capital: THREAT LEVEL 10!!!!! 

Growing up in Washington, DC is a unique experience. Kids here learn a lot about society, the good and the bad, at a very early age. They don’t have much of a choice, to be honest. And, the past year has been a crash course, a masterclass if you will, on how to negotiate childhood in the nation’s capital. Despite the absolute insanity of 2020, and January 2021, the children of DC have taken it all in stride. They’ve asked questions, been sad, cried, and scared. But, like all kids, they’re resilient. They pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and get back to virtual school.

The last weekend of January 2021. We were all thinking, “Oh, thank god we’re almost to the end of this ridiculous month.” Plus, Washington, DC’s was finally going to get enough snow to go sledding and play! It’s such a fabulous way to end what’s been a pretty harrowing month. In anticipation of our snowy Sunday, our non-voting Representative to Congress, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton wrote a letter asking the Capitol Police to allow the families that populate the Capitol Hill neighborhoods to sled on what is, arguably, the best sledding hill in the city. It’s the People’s House after all. They’ve done it for years, and there’s even a provision written into the Appropriations Bill that specifically allows the neighborhood families to sled when there’s a snow event. And, despite the hideous non-scalable fencing and the continued presence of the National Guard, what’s the harm in letting a bunch of children play in the snow? According to the Capitol Police, the neighborhood families are a huge issue. They quickly shot down Rep. Norton’s request, claiming security issues. We all know that school children are our country’s biggest threat.

We don’t negotiate with terrorists. You commit an act of terror against the United States, you better be ready for the response. 

Whether it’s communists, jihadists, or, sometimes even when you’re not actually a terror group like Black Lives Matter protesters who protest police brutality and the unequal treatment of Black Americans, we will send our military and our law enforcement after you with a vengeance. 

But, if you’re an angry white supremacist who is so devoted to a failed despot that you feel compelled to come to Washington, DC and commit violence upon its citizens (as happened at least two other times prior to January 6) and the politicians who work here, you are handled with kid gloves. We make excuses for your behavior and tell traumatized Americans, including those whose lives were literally in danger and the families of the police officers who died, including two who have taken their own lives in the wake of the insurrection, to just move on, already. The narratives now include interviews with the domestic terrorists who’ve been arrested as they angrily sob that their lives have been ruined because they’re facing consequences for their actions. It looks unlikely that the politicians who helped incite the riot, and continue to perpetuate false narratives (lies) will face any real punishment. We’re just going to keep letting the Josh Hawleys, Ted Cruzes, Mo Brooks, Lauren Boeberts, Marjorie Taylor Greenes, and Rand Pauls of the world keep representing their states like it’s no big deal that they’re all clearly in league with the racists. The white supremacists who tried to overthrow the government are being treated just like we expected, but dared to hope wasn’t going to be the case. 

When anyone who’s not white is angry or upset, they’re dangerous and accused of hating all white people. We hear the tired refrains of “Not all white people!” “All Lives Matter!” But, when the white people, the same ones who scream those lines, are mad, well then, we all better stop and do something about it. They’re being oppressed. The Real Americans want everyone to know they’re mad and they don’t care if they have to use violence as a means to their needed ends. They don’t care that the city they came to for their violence is still filled with soldiers because the threats continue. The politicians involved definitely don’t care because they’re only in town three days a week and all of those days are behind the unscalable fence, guarded by soldiers and law enforcement with big war weapons. 

The residents of Washington, DC would love nothing more than to “move on” and see an end to the threats of violence, to Neo-Nazis marching in the streets, the removal of large fence around the Capitol, that pushes into the surrounding residential neighborhood, and the National Guard troops able to go home to their families. We’d like the Capitol Police to categorize our small children’s perceived threats as the same level of white supremacists. 

We don’t negotiate with terrorists in the United States… unless they’re white supremacists.