After a year marked by Black Lives Matter protests and the MAGA rioters attacking Capitol Hill, this video offered hope.
Journalist Veronica Westhrin was walking around in Washington DC when she heard a White man standing on his porch and shouting at MAGA rioters who had stormed Capitol Hill. She then heard a Black woman in a car stuck in traffic responding to him from the road. They were strangers and yet they were united for a fleeting moment in their rejection of what was happening in their city. Veronica Westhrin captured the interaction on her phone and posted it online where it went viral. Following a year that was dominated by racial tension that culminated in an attack on Capitol Hill, the video was the America that many aspired to live in — one of racial unity.
So I filmed this video today. I shot it in a D.C. neighbourhood as Trump-supporters were leaving downtown after the protests and riots today. Apparently it went viral after I posted in on my Instagram @westhrin So here it is, Twitter! #guyonporch #womanincar pic.twitter.com/bmMUS48Blz— Veronica Westhrin (@NRKveronica) January 7, 2021
Shawntia was driving when she heard Peter stand on his porch and shout at MAGA rioters on the road. "Get the f*ck out of town. F*cking treasonous pieces of shit," he screamed. Peter was really venting his frustration out in the open and not particularly addressing anyone. Shawntia was a Washington DC resident who shared Peter's views on the MAGA extremists. She responded to him from her car. "I know right. They're really destroying our city." Peter shouts to cut across the traffic noise. "They're destroying the f*cking city and it's like nobody gives a shit. If that's Black Lives Matter, they'd have tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue," said Peter before adding, "they let these crackers take over the god damn capitol."
Shawntia, still stuck in traffic, responds, "That's true. What the f*ck is that. It makes me teary-eyed," said the woman as she wipes away a tear. "When it was us and Black Lives Matter, we couldn't do nothing," said Shawntia, before adding, "We died." Veronica Westhrin, who was at hand to record the conversation, posted it on her Instagram page. It might have been only a fleeting conversation but the video touched a chord with Americans and was shared hundreds of thousands of times. "I shot it in a D.C neighborhood as Trump supporters were leaving downtown D.C. after the protests and riots today," wrote Westhrin, reported TMZ. "A sad day for American democracy. The whole world is watching."
The attack on Capitol has been four years in the making, with Trump tacitly encouraging White Supremacists throughout his stint. Trump referred to Neo-nazis as "fine people" after a far-right rally in Charlottesville in 2017. In many ways, it was a precursor to what happened on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. MAGA supporters wearing Nazi t-shirts and waving Confederate flags walked without fear or repercussion on Capitol Hill — the heart of American democracy.
Oh My God. The White House literally *gassed* priests of St. John's Church—on church property no less—so Donald Trump could pose with a Bible.— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) June 2, 2020
He literally gassed Christian priests for personal gain. How is this not persecution of Christians?
GOP’s silence makes them complicit. pic.twitter.com/PxlhjnwQzi
Peter wasn't wrong when he said, "If that's Black Lives Matter, they'd have tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue." Trump had BLM protesters tear-gassed by the cops so he could hold a photo op holding a Bible, reported CNN. In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protest last June, Trump walked out of the White House to the porch of the St John’s Episcopal Church after cops tear-gassed and threw concussion grenades at priests and protesters to clear the pathway for Trump. He held a Bible in front of a church sign and posed for pictures before returning. The Episcopal bishop of Washington called out the White House over the attack and slammed the President for using the Bible and the church as a prop and called his message antithetical to that of Jesus'. "He didn't pray," said Mariann Budde, the Bishop.