Today, we joined the nation in watching a deplorable attack on our nation’s democracy. Armed white men (and women) invaded our nation’s Capitol Building, causing elected officials to flee into secure bunkers as they attempted to execute the constitutionally-mandated certification of electoral votes for Joseph Biden as President of the United States. This organized political attack was at the urging of Donald Trump, who has defiled his office by refusing to accept the votes of people across the country. Trump, who has egged on the opposition for weeks with his election falsehoods, released a video to his supporters during the siege, saying, “We love you, you’re very special.”
This rejection of the democratic process, this entitled march of armed white people into the halls of OUR government, was an effort to achieve through a terrorist attack what they could not through voter suppression. As disturbing was the apparent unwillingness to mobilize an appropriate response by police as these men and women trampled the Senate floor and offices, a blatant lack of arrests, and disturbing scenes of police complacency and complicity. This stands in sharp contrast to the violent handling of peaceful Black protestors marching for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor throughout the summer, the immediate arrest of women challenging the Supreme Court appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, and the harsh arrests of protesters with disabilities advocating for their healthcare. The double standard in the police treatment of white rioters today is glaring but not surprising. It reflects a racist and sexist power structure centuries in the making.
Equal Rights Advocates not only denounces the violent siege of our Capitol Building today. We decry the people and systems that grant permission, encouragement, and protection to those responsible. Twenty-four hours after watching the amazing display of civic power by Black, Latinx, and Asian communities in Georgia, we are in solidarity with partners and communities across the country to strengthen safeguards against this tyranny. We recommit to defending the power of our votes. We stand strong against white supremacy, racism, and the patriarchy on display today.
This is our country. We demand that it be led by our values. Tomorrow, a new day begins. Let us be guided by the words of John Lewis: “Faith is being so sure of what the spirit has whispered in your heart that your belief in its eventuality is unshakeable.”