It has been a little over a week since the siege at Capitol Hill and the truth is, it has been hard to find the words to express the danger and impact the events of January 6 have on our communities and this country. Nothing seems sufficient. It took us a while to gather our thoughts, but all of us at TNLR wanted to make some things abundantly clear:
- The siege at Capitol Hill is not a protest, nor is it domestic terrorism. It is state sanctioned violence. The Capitol Police and government officials colluded with the white supremacists who stormed the Capitol Building. Their failure to request adequate support against the attack combined with Republican members of congress using social media to instigate violence confirms their permission and approval of the riots. It comes as no surprise to us given that the police and the government have historically oppressed BIPOC communities and upheld white supremacy. Equally threatening is the response to this event, which calls for an increased police presence and defense against “domestic terrorism.” Inevitably, this targets BIPOC communities, particularly Muslim communities and people of the Global South who continue to be oppressed by “anti-terrorism” tactics. BIPOC communities rightfully protest these racist systems, so we reject the labels “domestic terrorism” and “protest” to describe what happened on Capitol Hill.
- The siege at Capitol Hill is not a threat to democracy. It is authoritarianism showing its true colors. Liberal media has painted these supremacists as attempting a coup and threatening democracy, but when a system bestows power on a fascist like Donald J. Trump, is funded by unethical corporations, upholds mass incarceration, bombs and usurps governments in the global south, strictly adheres to a two-party system that does not represent the voices of BIPOC, and even makes voting inaccessible, is not a democracy. It was never a democracy.
- The siege at Capitol Hill is not white privilege. It is white supremacy. The fact that these people stormed a federal building built on stolen indigenous land is white supremacy. That they were largely unharmed is white supremacy. That they had assistance and encouragement from the police, GOP members, and the president, is white supremacy. That working class POC were called in to clean up the mess is white supremacy.
The attack on Capitol Hill was predictable and preventable. BIPOC leaders and activists warned us about what Trump represented, what he would incite and give further agency to, and the repercussions of those actions. Trump himself made clear what his intentions were from the moment he began running for office. Our thoughts are with survivors, who continuously experience abuse, neglect, and oppression at the hands of our government in addition to their abusers. The impact that the siege on Capitol Hill has on survivors is undeniable and almost instantaneous. For four years, someone in a public position of power has supported and enacted acts of violence and abuse; enabling “proud boys,” white supremacists, and abusers everywhere. We encourage survivors of partner abuse to call our hotline for support during these increasingly dangerous times at 800-832-1901.