Congress finally certified the votes of the Electoral College for the 2020 election of the United States President and Vice President. As U.S. Representatives and Senators worked to certify the final votes, anti-democratic racist mobs overwhelmed U.S. Capitol Police and took over the Capitol. Carrying Confederate and Trump flags, this mostly white group broke into Congressional offices, ransacking them and leaving threatening notes. This ultimately triggered a citywide curfew and an activation of the National Guard.
The mob wanted to overturn the election results and ensure Trump remains president but that’s not how democracy works. Democracy, by definition, is the right of the people to elect their representatives, not the ability of some to violently force their will on the majority. Despite a global health pandemic and blatant attempts to suppress the voice of Black and Brown voters, millions of Americans showed up and voted. The voters have spoken, and their will must be respected.
The violent and baseless rejection of the 2020 presidential election results is the direct manifestation of continued commitment to white supremacy and aligned national leadership in the White House and Congress, that refuses to respect the will of the people and knowingly bolsters false and dangerous narratives for political and personal gain. In a desperate attempt to hold onto power, these forces are trying to undermine the will of millions of voters, especially the growing majority of people of color.
The mobs’ actions were nothing short of an attempt to overthrow our government, which these same elected officials took an oath to defend and protect. It was also a clear reminder that our nation was built upon racial violence. When Black and Brown voters have successfully exercised power at the polls, a fierce whitelash has always attempted to silence them.
But we shall not retreat. We must continue to work for our freedom and build an America that works for all of us. Our nation must stand firm in protecting the fundamental right to vote and ensure our nation maintains a just democracy.
Words by: Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office