America Forward’s Statement in Response to Violence at the U.S. Capitol
By the America Forward Team
Like so many people in Washington, D.C. and around the country, we at America Forward have struggled to come to terms with the unprecedented and deadly insurrection that unfolded at the Capitol last week. The violence was deeply personal. For many members of the America Forward staff, Capitol Hill has been a workplace and something of a second home for decades. Nearly every day, we work closely with many of the thousands of elected officials, staff members, lobbyists, and others who work in and around the Capitol complex; they are not just the backbone of our democratic system — they are our colleagues and our friends.
Last Wednesday, we watched in horror as thousands of rioters — many armed and carrying symbols of hate — attacked the Capitol, its guardians, lawmakers, and staff, incited to violence by our current President and other elected officials who willfully abandoned their solemn oath to safeguard our country and its people. In the days that have followed, we’ve listened to the harrowing, first-person accounts of what transpired and realized how much worse the outcome could have been if not for the heroism and quick thinking of individual members of law enforcement, members of Congress, staff, and workers alike.
In the aftermath of Wednesday’s violence, we cannot — we MUST not — turn a blind eye to the insidious and corrosive hatred, racism, white supremacy, and disdain for democracy and the rule of law that set the stage for this attack. These destructive forces have been incubated and emboldened in plain sight, and they are responsible for enormous pain and trauma in so many of our communities over generations. Last week’s events, while unprecedented in their scope and audacity, are far from an anomaly or isolated incident; they are just the latest reminder of the fierce urgency of dismantling systems infected by racism and cruelty before they can inflame more violence and further endanger communities.
Collectively, we have the power to root out this systemic hatred and violence, and we will.
We are grateful for the profound resilience of those elected leaders and their staff members who returned late on Wednesday night to affirm the rightful outcome of the election and call for the peaceful transition of power to a new presidency, and the House lawmakers who have since reconvened to vote on a historic second impeachment of the President for his role inciting the violent insurrection.
At America Forward, we remain dedicated to working alongside policymakers to advance innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our education, workforce, and democratic systems; to rooting our work firmly in facts and evidence; to fostering meaningful civic engagement; and to advancing equity and breaking down barriers to access and opportunity through collaboration and shared understanding.
This work has never been more important than it is today, and it starts with people. People in Washington, D.C. and in communities across the country, working to support one another through this trauma, endeavoring to build better systems, bridging existing divides, and expanding opportunity for everyone. We are incredibly proud to call so many of these change agents our Coalition members and our colleagues, and we reaffirm our resolve to support the critical work they do every day and to advocate together to unite and move all of America forward.