It isn’t Just White Privilege, it’s Right Wing Privilege As Well.

Political affiliation plays a significant role in how organizations and individuals are treated and portrayed.

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Armed conservative protesters rally at the state capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 15, 2020.

As the coronavirus continues to spread and impact the livelihoods of millions of people throughout the country, naturally a sense of restlessness and anger has continued to intensify along with it while millions of people are stuck at home. Perhaps one of the most intense recent examples was a demonstration in Michigan’s state capital, where armed protestors entered the building and attempted to intimidate the lawmakers working in the room below them while they deliberated about re-opening the state for business. In the days since this protest took place, I can’t help wondering what would have happened if they were left wing protestors as opposed to right wing.

Of course, particularly when it comes to demonstrations like this, it’s fairly obvious to point out that if these protestors had been black or brown, they probably would not have been allowed in to the building let alone getting away with yelling in the security guard’s faces and brandishing their weapons while lawmakers attempted to do their job. That being said, even their whiteness probably would not have allowed them to escape at least some level of consequence for their actions if they had been protesting an oil pipeline, climate change, or corporate greed. Watching what these protestors were able to get away with, there’s no denying that right wing privilege is a concept worthy of addressing.

Almost since the nation’s inception, our government has been as afraid of a people’s uprising as they were of the tyranny of a king. The constitution alone and the very system of government it put in place is indicative of the fact that our nation has always feared what the people could be capable of if their will ultimately prevailed. For years it was only white, wealthy property owners that our government deemed worthy of voting, and the Senate itself was inherently designed to suppress majority rule. The left has been consistently correlated with not just change, but with the will of the working class at large and thus is seen as a threat to the power structures in place.

I’m not sure there’s much that the elite as a whole fear more than the idea of an armed and militant left, considering how eager they are to crush even the most peaceful of left wing demonstrations. While the right wing is able to brandish their weapons inside state capital buildings, FOX Business commentator Lou Dobbs earlier this year was insisting that a guard employed by ICE was certainly “within his rights” to attempt to run over left-wing protestors for simply sitting peacefully in front of the parking garage. When the President of the United States insists there were “good people on both sides” of the infamous Charlottesville protest that led to the death of counter-protestor Heather Heyer, three states have moved to ban oil pipeline protests in the span of just two weeks.

The right wing has always been encouraged to be militant, angry, and brazen in their demonstrations, but in the context of the United States why wouldn’t that be the case? The right wing represents no real challenge to the powers that be, and instead — wittingly or unwittingly — they act as a defense of it. The left in America will never be granted the same treatment or even portrayal in the media as the right wing, because meaningful change or action against everything from corporate greed to white supremacy simply will not be tolerated.

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Lauren is a writer & leftist with analysis on topics related to politics & policy. She can be reached at LaurenMartinchek@gmail.com or Twitter @xlauren_mx

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