By UUSC Staff on January 7, 2021
Cambridge, MA—In response to the chaos in the U.S. Capitol, driven by President Trump and his supporters, UUSC CEO and President Mary Katherine Morn issued the following statement:
“The responsibility for this blatant attack on our democracy lies squarely with President Trump and Members of Congress who joined the President in attempting to overturn a democratic election. Months of spreading false claims of voter fraud and brazen attacks on individuals and institutions have led, inevitably, to this lawless and dangerous attack.
These attacks on the U.S. Constitution, the Capitol, the democratic process, and all of us must end now, and all elected officials who have enabled it must be removed from office. Senators and representatives who joined in the effort to block the certification of Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ lawful victory should resign immediately or be censured for betraying their oath to defend the Constitution.
As shocking and unprecedented as the events of the last 24 hours have been, they are a foreseeable culmination of Trump’s vile actions and rhetoric, as well as the moral cowardice of those who stood by and allowed him to persist in these evils. Those who failed to condemn the president for vilifying religious minorities, promoting racism, separating families, and barring asylum-seekers, but now express outrage and regret about the storming of the Capitol, must acknowledge and account for their own part in the violence and threat to us as a nation.
Also, we cannot turn a blind eye to how the riots in the nation’s capital are being handled by law enforcement. For the last four years, there have been peaceful protests led by communities facing oppression that were met with violence by police officers. Yet Wednesday’s action in the Capitol saw a much more subdued response to violent white nationalists and Trump supporters. This is a clear and resounding affirmation of how law enforcement, in general, treats the concept of our First Amendment right: Peaceful social justice protesters are met with violence while violent protests, aimed at keeping an authoritarian leader in power, are treated so leniently we wonder if they are not in fact enabled. This obvious disparity has not, and will not, continue to be ignored.
Now is the last chance for our elected officials to hold the behavior of those in power to account. A strong first step should be President Trump’s impeachment once again. Once convicted in the Senate, provisions should be made to ensure that he is never again allowed to hold public office. The people of the United States and the globe cannot risk allowing this dangerous individual to ever set foot in the halls of power again.
A strong moral counterweight to President Trump’s vitriol and the hostile rioting of his supporters occurred in Georgia this week, when communities impacted by injustice for decades showed up powerfully at the polls to elect the state’s first Black and Jewish U.S. senators. These momentous victories are clear evidence of what our democracy should look like. Unlike the brazen and violent rioting in the Capitol, this form of protest, of collective action, was done with grace, dignity, and a deep sense of hope for our democracy. We know the path ahead for strengthening democracy and human rights. We know that accountable institutions and a thriving participatory democracy are critical for upholding human rights. We applaud the efforts of institutions like UUSC’s partner, the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights (GLAHR), and the innumerable other organizations and activists who worked together to uphold the rights of those who face oppression. This is what community looks like. Thank you, Georgia.”
About UUSC: Guided by the belief that all people have inherent worth and dignity, UUSC advances human rights globally by partnering with affected communities who are confronting injustice, mobilizing to challenge oppressive systems, and inspiring and sustaining spiritually grounded activism for justice. We invite you to join us in this journey toward realizing a better future!
Photo Credit: iStock – SL