Editors and activists warned against labelling them as protesters. “Insurrectionists”, “coup-plotters”, “extremists”, and a “mob” are some of the ways they were described.
Some politicians, including President Joe Biden, went even further, calling them “domestic terrorists”.
Biden’s call for a domestic terror law to counter white supremacy predates the deadly assault on the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
Earlier this week, more than 130 rights organisations, including the Arab American Institute (AAI) and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), sent a letter to Congress cautioning against expanding anti-terrorism legal authorities.