Washington Commanders defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio attracted a little attention on Tuesday by, in my opinion, falsely equating the January 6 insurrection to the 2020 protests that became, in some cities, riots over police violence against minorities. The team had no comment at the time.
On Wednesday, comments came directly from Del Rio via a previously-scheduled press conference.
“Let’s get right down to it,” Del Rio said, via NBC4. “What did I ask? A simple question. Why are we not looking into those things, if we’re gonna talk about [January 6], why are we not looking into those things? Because it’s kind of hard for me to say, I can realistically look at it, I see the images on TV, people’s livelihoods are being destroyed. Businesses are being burned down. No problem. And then we have a dustup at the Capitol, nothing burned down. And we’re gonna make that a major deal.”
January 6 was hardly a dustup. But that’s how the both-sides game is played. Downplay the thing you’d rather not acknowledge, and exaggerate the other thing that provides a distraction for the thing you’re otherwise downplaying and ultimately hoping to ignore.
The reality is that Del Rio is peddling one of the many talking points aimed at getting people not to pay sufficient attention to what happened at the Capitol on January 6. Why it happened. How it happened. And who may have incited it.
Again, he’s entitled to his own opinion. He’s not entitled to his own facts. Certain things can’t be both-sides’d. Certain things shouldn’t be. An attack on the seat of the U.S. government while Congress exercised the constitutional duty to certify a presidential election is not a “dustup.” Lives were lost that day. Police officers traumatized by the events thereafter committed suicide. Our democratic process was undermined. All because, frankly, someone couldn’t handle the blow to the ego of losing.
Anyone can cite love of country, as Del Rio did, to justify espousing any and all opinions they see fit. That doesn’t make the opinions right.
And it definitely doesn’t make the facts accurate. Thus, in an age where false facts runs rampant, calling the January 6 insurrection a “dustup at the Capitol” should make Del Rio a finalist for some sort of bullshit blue ribbon.