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Jenna Ryan, a realtor and self-professed life coach in Texas, decried the public response to her after participating in the events of January 6th and subsequently pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of parading on Capitol grounds, saying her experience has been similar to that of those who suffered in Nazi Germany.
Five days before she reported to a federal prison in Texas on Dec. 21, Ryan spoke with NBC News in an interview in which she doubled down on her stance that she has been a victim in the aftermath of being charged for entering the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, contending she has been used as a “scapegoat” in personal attacks.
“They’re making fun of my skin color. They’re calling me an ‘insurrection Barbie,’” she said in the interview that aired on “NBC Nightly News” Tuesday.
“They have no idea who I am as a person, what my beliefs are, what I’ve been through, who I am,” she added. “They see me as a one-dimensional caricature. They don’t see me as a human.”
(Video: NBC News)
Ryan pleaded guilty on Aug. 19 to the misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. She maintains that she did not see any violent activity at the Capitol Building that day last January and she only spent about two minutes inside herself.
“And so, that is the epitome of a scapegoat. Just like they did that to the Jews in Germany. Those were scapegoats. And I believe that people who are Caucasian are being turned into evil in front of the media,” she told NBC News and was then asked if she was comparing the situation she faced to the Holocaust.
“You know what’s so sad?” she replied. “That I’m afraid to answer your question because I will be attacked for saying that.”
NBC News further noted that Ryan said “other people have made the same comparison and that she ‘definitely’ feels she is being persecuted.”
Many agree with the realtor who essentially went to the Capitol that day on a whim when she answered a social media post to head to the Stop the Steal rally on a private jet.
“I got caught up in the crowd and entered the Capitol for 2 minutes and 8 seconds. I was sentenced to 2 months in prison yesterday,” she wrote in a fundraising message.
“The Judge says that everything I said at the protest was considered free speech, and the harsh sentenced (sic) I received is because I have a social media presence. The problem is, that the attention I received on social media was due to the extreme amount of negative publicity I received from the Mainstream Media,” she added on the site which has raised nearly $2,000 as of this writing, including a contribution from former BizPacReview CEO Jack Furnari.
“Stay strong, your fellow Patriots are with you. God Bless you and keep you,” Furnari wrote, echoing the sentiments of many.
Ryan has used social media regularly for personal and business purposes; she even did a Facebook Live post from inside the Capitol on January 6th.
After learning that she would be formally charged in the events of January 6th, she took to Twitter in March to say, “Sorry, I have blonde hair, white skin, a great job, a great future, and I’m not going to jail.”
She acknowledged that her tweet may have played a role in the sentencing decision though she was facing up to six months in jail but received a shorter 60-day sentence instead.
“It wasn’t the best way to handle it,” she said. “I understand that now.”
In an October 2021 letter to the judge in her case, Ryan described her social media usage:
It is my understanding that it is not against the law to have social media accounts and to market myself among my channels.
I am constantly posting to social media, just like many people today….You may see a video or post that I share online and think, ‘She doesn’t seem remorseful,’ however, my true feelings are not always displayed on my public social network…..looking for remorse on my tweets…is not the best route. I am marketing myself online and cannot always display remorse….My social media is an image I project and not my real life.”
She also apologized for her idea about not going to jail.
“I just felt that it would be unlikely since I was pleading to entering the Capitol for two minutes and eight seconds. Now I realize that was a false notion but having a false notion does not automatically mean I deserve incarceration,” she wrote in the letter.
The real estate agent reported to Bryan Federal Prison Camp early — just days before Christmas — to begin her sentence, where she reportedly intends to do “lots of yoga” and “lose 30 pounds” since she will be free from alcohol and junk food.
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