In an analysis for The Washington Post published this Tuesday, political scientist Robert Pape says his research found that most of the people who partook in the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 came from places where there was a high rate of fear that the rights of minorities and immigrants would overtake the rights of white people.
According to the Post's Alan Feuer, if Pape's analysis is true, the Capitol attack "has historical echoes reaching back to before the Civil War."
"If you look back in history, there has always been a series of far-right extremist movements responding to new waves of immigration to the United States or to movements for civil rights by minority groups," Pape told Feuer. "You see a common pattern in the Capitol insurrectionists. They are mainly middle-class to upper-middle-class whites who are worried that, as social changes occur around them, they will see a decline in their status in the future."
While Pape's research showed that only about 10 percent of people charged in the Capitol riot were affiliated with some sort of right-wing militia, he says the remaining 90 percent of "ordinary" rioters are part of a growing movement on the right which has shown itself willing to put "violence at its core."
"If all of this is really rooted in the politics of social change, then we have to realize that it's not going to be solved — or solved alone — by law enforcement agencies," Pape said. "This is political violence, not just ordinary criminal violence, and it is going to require both additional information and a strategic approach."
Read the full article over at The Washington Post.