On Wednesday, on the heels of a landmark victory for Black organizers and allies in Georgia and after millions of people turned out to elect a new administration in overwhelming numbers, a mob of right-wing extremists including white supremacists stormed the U.S. Capitol building. The attack on January 6 was a disturbing display of what happens when elected leaders — including President Trump — sow distrust in our institutions and incite violence as a means to undermine the will of the people.
The police’s response to this attack comes in stark, abhorrent contrast to the brutal crackdown on this summer’s peaceful protests in defense of Black lives. Unfortunately, we do not have to imagine what Wednesday’s violent insurrection would have looked like if the crowd was not mostly white, cis, and able-bodied people. Since its beginning, the United States has used violence against people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous people, to reinforce racist, classist, and ableist status quos.
And make no mistake — while corporations and their trade groups may be condemning Wednesday’s events and those responsible, many have supported the elected officials who incited the attack and have also benefited enormously from the policies of this administration. The last four years have been nothing short of a field day for abusive corporations and industries. Their 11th hour condemnations are cynical and disingenuous.
We demand accountability for those who incited Wednesday’s violence: the President and those who aided and abetted him. But, we know that alone will not be enough for lasting change. There is enormous work to be done to build a democracy in the U.S. that actually represents all people — particularly those who have been systematically oppressed and disenfranchised in our current system: Black people, Indigenous people, and other people of color, low-income people, people with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, and women. More than ever, we must keep fighting for that democracy and a world where people are free to live in peace and where human rights and democratic principles are upheld.