The vigilantism and attacks in Washington, DC yesterday are nothing short of treason. They are part and parcel of the arc of violence enshrined in the modus operandi of white supremacy and white nationalism. These terrorist and seditious actions have been fomented by President Trump. Throughout his Presidency, Trump, and members of the GOP, have fueled up racism, xenophobia, and antisemitism—and Trump has continually encouraged his supporters to bear arms and riot.
President Trump advised the Proud Boys, a known white supremacist terrorist organization, to “stand back and stand by.” They listened. Yesterday’s events are therefore no surprise. This attack on our country was years in the making.
Further, President Trump is simultaneously inciting violence through his calls to his supporters while asking for the support of law enforcement and Capitol Police and delaying the deployment of the National Guard. The difference in the state’s use of force on these seditionists versus the violent and unlawful use of force against peaceful protestors for Black lives or those working to preserve their health care access is abhorrent, and yet another stark example of racial inequity. The ability of those who stormed the Capitol yesterday to comfortably take seats in the building and take selfies with Capitol Police without fear of arrest or assault is the height of white privilege.
We cannot state this more clearly: Law enforcement officers allowed armed white vigilantes to take a federal building by force. This is the epitome of racist hypocrisy.
This attempted coup did not succeed, and these actions are simply an unacceptable intrusion into our democracy. Voters elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and despite the seditious acts of Trump supporters, Congress confirmed the election of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Those who aim to obstruct the most basic element of American government — the peaceful transition of power — must be held accountable.
Yesterday’s events followed the calls of the two Senate runoffs in Georgia which secured Democratic control of the US Senate. The victories in Georgia, as many earlier in November, build on the pivotal organizing work in communities of color, throughout a prolonged and contested election cycle. Black, Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders, American Indian and Alaska Native communities led us to historic voter turnout and participation in our democratic process. The American people voted for President Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris to lead our nation for the next four years. States have been through recounts, audits, and litigation—all of which have certified their results. There is no question that this election was properly administered. We look forward to the Biden/Harris administration taking office and centering racial justice and racial equity, as the soul of our nation hangs in the balance. We are confident that the goodwill of the American public and our enduring spirit of democracy will prevail.
Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.