WASHINGTON, D.C. January 7, 2021 – Thousands of extremists violently occupied the Capitol complex in Washington D.C. yesterday to prevent lawmakers from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. Margaret Huang, President and Chief Executive Officer of the SPLC Action Fund, issued the following statement in response:
“White supremacist hate groups often justify their violent ideologies under the guise of love — love for their families, for their communities, for their nation, which are perceived to be under existential threat by encroaching “Others.” Today, this insidious racism took the form of an American president openly encouraging with “love” violent extremists who put thousands of lives at risk––and left one woman killed––in an attempt to undermine democracy and the voices of millions of people across the country.
“January 6, 2021 will go down in history as a day of deep unveiling on a national stage of the racist violence that continues to threaten our country––bolstered by the infrastructure of white nationalist movements that the Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking and fighting for decades. These hate groups, further activated and invigorated by the President, pose a direct threat to the lives of millions of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color around the country–-and they will not go away after President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
“The distressing events in the nation’s capitol cannot undermine the incredible efforts of organizers in Georgia who mobilized historic numbers of voters to deliver an incredible victory today, despite decades of mass voter suppression in the state. The SPLC Action Fund is proud to have endorsed Senators-elect Warnock and Ossoff in their races for the U.S. Senate, and we look forward to working with them to counter extremism and hate groups in the new Congress.
“To protect and ensure democracy, we must expose and root out the seeds of this violence. To address the dangerous situation at hand immediately, SPLC demands the following:
- The immediate impeachment of President Donald Trump. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has already indicated that she will be drawing up articles of impeachment against the president, and newly-elected Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) has announced that she will be introducing a resolution calling for the expulsion of Republican members of Congress who incited this attack. SPLC fully endorses these efforts and encourages all political leaders to rapidly ensure these actions are taken.
- The immediate arrests of all insurgents involved in the staging of this attack. The violent attack led to the death of one woman and put thousands of people’s lives in danger. Without swift and immediate justice, more people in different parts of the country may be encouraged to engage in similar forms of violence.
- The immediate deplatforming of Donald Trump, and all public figures who have incited and given encouragement to these extremists. In addition to President Trump, extremist leaders are encouraging this violence from widely followed online platforms. Deplatforming is the responsible action to protect the safety of people of those who are targets of racist, extremist groups.
SPLC Action Fund is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.