What pro-Trump Rioters and Black Lives Matter Have In Common and How We Can Help Both

Kevin Strauss
3 min readJan 8, 2021


It goes, almost without saying, that I am deeply saddened by the insurrection on the US Capitol this week. Unfortunately, it represents AGAIN, another symptom of, what I believe to be, the fundamental ROOT problem in the US and beyond.

I believe that what’s behind the rioters actions is very much the same as what is behind the need for the Black Lives Matter movement. (Please don’t freak out by my linking the two. Just hear me out.) While the problems and reactions are different, the root is the same.

We are a people who DO NOT LISTEN. When a person or people do not feel heard, understood, valued, and like they belong, the pain is real and deep. The pain is not a physical or mental pain, it is an emotional pain. We are a very emotionally unhealthy people. (not to be confused with emotional intelligence or mental health)

I believe most of the pro-Trump rioters are a people who do not feel heard by their own country; the PEOPLE who operate the government.

Similarly, the BLM people (which I consider myself a supporter) are most definitely not heard or valued by the PEOPLE leading our government (which will hopefully change soon) and how it has trickled down (or up) negatively for centuries.

A person in [emotional] pain will do anything to ease that pain.

How does it FEEL when your own parents, spouse, or kids DO NOT listen to you? How do you FEEL when what you’re trying to communicate is not heard or understood especially by the people who matter most to you? How do you FEEL when you’re excluded from a group of people you really wanted to be a part of? It could be a team, a company, a family, a country, etc.

I’ve been rejected by enough people or “groups” in my life to know that it feels awful and my subsequent behavior is such that I try to rally and “feel better” as soon as possible. I think most people do the same. Thankfully, my “go to” is not alcohol or drugs, it is sometimes food, but more often I end up trying to overcompensate by learning more and becoming “better” at whatever it is.

Some people may storm the capitol in an attempt to be heard and others may protest peacefully by marching down a street. Others may simply try to ignore the problem and grab another drink and go for an extra hard run.

The point is the same… we, as a people, are not listening!!! We barely ever do! Moreover, we’re not HEARING each other and we’re certainly not acknowledging the feelings and emotions each other is having. We avoid [negative] emotions like the plague and it’s killing us, literally!

Once again, we’re trying to #shame the rioters for their behaviors. Of course I would never condone such behavior but if we don’t attempt to understand the TRUE ROOT of the behavior then it will continue to persist and get worse…. as we’ve seen for decades and more.

People must be held accountable for their actions and behaviors but we, as a people, continue to neglect the emotional health — the giving and receiving of love and belonging, for our fellow citizens and even family members.

How we FEEL drives our behaviors more than anything else and with ease can overcome our cognitive brain and mental abilities.

As hard as it is to do, if we continue to NOT hear, understand, and acknowledge each other then people will continue to behave in a way until they ARE heard.

It’s up to each and everyone one of us, including me, to truly hear the other. If we can focus, even on those closest to us, then each of our small circles will overlap and the love can spread, fast.

We all just need to be heard and loved. I truly believe it is that simple. At least it is a definitive start.



Kevin Strauss

Fan of the "rabbit hole"… how far will I go? KevinRStrauss.com - balanced wellness, emotional health, endurance sports & more