CLASP Condemns White Supremacist Assault on Democracy

The following is a statement from Olivia Golden, executive director at the
Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

CLASP condemns yesterday’s mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. It was a white supremacist assault on U.S. democracy and in our own city of Washington, endangering our greater community. 

We call for accountability for the president, who incited the attack and must be removed through the 25th amendment or the impeachment and removal process. The nation cannot be safe as long as he remains in office. We also call for accountability for law enforcement and public officials for their failure to prepare for and respond to the violent mob. And we call for accountability for elected officials and others who have been complicit by repeatedly lying, promoting violence, undercutting a legitimate election, and encouraging racist attacks to suppress Black voters.

As an organization committed to fighting for racial justice, we are angered and outraged at the contrast between the response to yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol and the forceful violence historically used in response to peaceful protests calling for an end to racism. History has shown us time and time again that when Black/African-American people protest in the name of racial equality, they are met with brutality and violence. When immigrant communities use their voices to demand equitable opportunities and pathways for citizenship, they are met with brutality and violence. When Native or Indigenous communities use their voices to protect land that is rightfully theirs, they are met with brutality and violence. 

By no means do we condone or suggest that violence is ever a justifiable response; however, if we are honest with ourselves, we know that had yesterday’s attack been led by folks of color, we are almost certain the use of violence by law enforcement would have been much greater. We have to pause and truly ask ourselves why? And if we are honest, we know that it’s on the basis of race. Simply put, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and anti-Indigenous ideologies have been normalized as part of our country’s fabric. This has to end. 

We have long heard in the media and in political rhetoric that we are in a battle for the soul of the nation. While that is certainly true, it does not and should not end with the removal of Donald Trump and the swearing in of the Biden-Harris Administration. Indeed, the battle has been with us for centuries.

What we need now is absolute resolve to eradicate white supremacy wherever it lives and breathes. We must be vigilant in our collective work to tear down its manifestation in policies, institutional norms, and individual and collective behaviors.  That is our resolve. That is our commitment.