NESAWG's Statement In Response to Insurrection
The violent insurrection of the Capitol led by President Trump’s supporters last week was horrifying and disgusting. It was a terrifying and predictable outcome to two month’s of egregious misinformation about the election, four years of the President condoning outward displays of racism and anti-Semitism, and centuries of a culture steeped in white supremacy. Their actions directly contradicted the will of millions of Americans, across race and class who came together throughout the country to democratically and fairly elect Joe Biden as our next president.
We see this deep seated white supremacy play out when Black people are killed by the police while eating ice cream in their living room, or going for a run, or sleeping, or driving, and the police are not brought to justice; when over 300 peaceful Black Lives Matters protesters are arrested in a single day compared to 61 violent white supremacists rioters; when the Capitol Police is militarized during a BLM protest and denied riot gear for a mob of white people repeatedly encouraged to bring firearms with them; and when that country’s own President encourages the violent mob and tells them he “loves” them.
While numerous Republican members of Congress condemned the violent acts of Wednesday, 147 of them voted against certifying the results of a free and fair election. Many Cabinet members, including the Vice President, still refuse to recognize that allowing Trump to be in power even a single day more is a grave threat to our democracy. When our nation’s leaders cannot call the President’s acts treasonous but will furiously deride a football player as a traitor for peacefully protesting racism by kneeling for the national anthem, we are living in a society that values white lives more than Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) ones.
Many leaders have taken to saying that America is better than this, but history has not proven that to be true. We have a long and shameful record of brutally criminalizing Black and brown people while turning a blind eye towards racist violence that white people perpetrate, physical, cultural, and systemic. Those of us who are white have always had, and will continue to have, the critical responsibility of building white peoples’ individual and collective anti-racism. We must stand in solidarity with and heed the calls of BIPOC leaders for change.
To begin transforming our weak democracy into one that safeguards the rights of everyone, fights for racial equity, and honors our collective vision of justice, health, joy, and freedom, we demand the following from our elected leaders (these are lifted up from the Movement for Black Lives and the Working Families Party):
CONDEMN, IMPEACH AND REMOVE TRUMP: Each member of Congress must not only condemn the acts of Donald Trump, they must call for immediate impeachment. The House of Representatives must support the pending Articles of Impeachment against Trump sponsored by Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and others. The Senate must convict and remove him from office immediately.
EXPEL REPUBLICAN MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: Support Rep. Cori Bush's resolution to expel the Members of Congress who voted to overturn the certification of lawful election results, and members of Congress who encouraged white supremacist violence.
INVESTIGATE THE EVENTS OF 1/6: Demand a full investigation into the security response on January 6th, which failed to prevent white nationalist insurrectionists from entering the Capitol and terrorizing the people inside, and stood in stark contrast to the brutal treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters last year.
RENOUNCE WHITE SUPREMACIST AND UNDEMOCRACTIC ACTIONS: Elected officials both at the federal level and state level must publicly renounce this white supremacist attempted coup as well as the accompanying attempts to retroactively disenfranchise the votes of millions by overturning the democratic results of this election.
- ABOLISH THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE: State legislatures must pass the National Popular Vote Bill, which would add your state to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The compact would commit states to committing all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and goes into effect when the bill is passed by states representing a majority of electors (270). To learn more, visit nationalpopularvote.com
Last week’s violence has strengthened our resolve and commitment to dismantling white supremacy and building equitable, just and liberatory food systems. We can only do this work in a thriving democracy, and all of us must stay vigilant in protecting it.
In solidarity and strength,
Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding