Calls to expose the Capitol Police officer who shot and killed Ashli Babbitt during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have taken on a "racial tinge," Josh Kovensky writes for Talking Points Memo.
Many of former President Donald Trump's supporters, particularly those considered to be on the far right of the political spectrum, believe the officer is a Black man, though officials have not publicly released or confirmed any information on the officer. The detail sheds "new light" on Babbitt's "martyrdom," Kovensky argues. "It's a context that allows Trump and others to blow the dog whistle on the case as loud as possible," he writes.
Kovensky writes that sometimes, "the racial dynamic is blatant," like when a far-right propagandist named Erik Striker posted on his Telegram channel in April that Babbitt was "murdered by a Black criminal with a badge whose identity is still being kept a secret." But in other instances, things are less explicit, hidden under "layers of obfuscation and deniability" like when people compare Babbitt's death to George Floyd's. "In that universe," Babbitt is "an unsung martyr not only of the stolen 2020 election, but of the supposedly unfair treatment of whites," Kovensky writes. Read Kovensky's full piece at Talking Points Memo.
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