Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump extremists was an attack on our democracy. Like many others, we call for Trump’s removal from office for the safety of our people and the sake of our democracy. Like others have said, we object to the disparity in how law enforcement treated peaceful protesters supporting Black Lives Matter in DC last summer and how they treated violent pro-Trump extremists. As a country, we must work to defend our democracy by honoring truth and facts, respecting our Constitution, and calling on our elected officials to put the good of the country ahead of personal gain and to serve all citizens equally.
And yet, we must also reckon with the deeper roots of white supremacy that allowed this attack to happen. As Bernice King said, “This is not abnormal. As my father said, this nation was ‘born in genocide.’ We have yet to earnestly address America’s violent roots, its white supremacy, or its racism. With urgency, we must. If we do not, violence, in many forms, will persist, no matter who is in office.”
Each of us working in the social sector has a role to play in fighting for a fair and just democracy and disrupting the patterns of racism and oppression that exist in our systems, organizations, and even ourselves. By doing this work, we are doing our part to build a just democracy. As the late Representative from Georgia John Lewis said, “Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society.”
It’s time to get to work doing our part.