On Tuesday (April 6), Robert Pape, the director of the Chicago Project on Security and Threats, reported in The Washington Post that his group had used court records to analyze the demographics and home county characteristics of the 377 Americans arrested or charged in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack.
The analysis showed that 95 percent of those arrested have been white and 85 percent male, and that the number of suspects has generally been in proportion to county and state populations.
However, Pape wrote, “by far the most interesting characteristic common to the insurrectionists’ backgrounds has to do with changes in their local demographics. Counties with the most significant declines in the non-Hispanic white population are the most likely to produce insurrectionists who now face charges.”
As an example, he cited Putnam County, where one suspect has been arrested, and where the white population has declined by 3.5 percent since 2015. Similarly, Dutchess County, home to three suspects, has lost 2 percent of its white population.
“When compared with almost 2,900 other counties in the U.S., our analysis of the 250 counties where those charged or arrested live reveals that the counties that had the greatest decline in white population had an 18 percent chance of sending an insurrectionist to D.C., while the counties that saw the least decline in the white population had only a 3 percent chance,” Pape wrote.
He noted that, in this study and two other surveys the project has conducted, one motivation for political violence stood out: “Fear of the ‘great replacement,’ the belief that the rights of minorities will overtake that of whites.”