A turbulent week in United States history
On Wednesday afternoon, a mob stormed the United States Capitol building, emboldened by white supremacist ideology, conspiracy theories, and incitements from the sitting President, and enabled by many others in positions of power. While we are not surprised, we are appalled.
The peaceful Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 in response to the murders of Black lives at the hands of police were met with further demonstrations of police brutality. The peaceful protests in Ferguson in response to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson led to the arrests of hundreds. The peaceful gatherings at Standing Rock in protection of land, water, and Indigenous human rights were met with assault rifles and army tanks. People seeking essential, constitutionally-protected reproductive health care are repeatedly and consistently abused and attacked by anti-choice agitators. But, a violent insurgency of white supremacists break into the Capitol, halt the democratic process, damage property, hang a noose on the grounds, dress up as Native Americans, cause the death of five people, and they are escorted out by police with impunity.
We’re tired of hearing people say, “this is not America.” This is the United States of America. This is five centuries of precise, structural racism threaded into our institutions, education systems, popular culture, ways of thinking, being, and relating to one another. Those responsible for Wednesday’s insurgency—the white supremacists who broke in and wreaked havoc, the politicians and police officers who incited and enabled the violence in person and online, and those who sat there in complicity—must be held to account.
In the meantime, we must take care of ourselves, our families, and our communities. We must remain committed to transformative, healing work that is rooted in justice and equity. The sources of racism, sexism, homophobia, reproductive oppression, and disenfranchisement are intertwined, and as such our movements for social justice must continue to work together to shift power and drive change.
Our hearts go out everyone impacted by Wednesday’s events, and to our partners and supporters who are committed to providing and fighting for safe, high-quality sexual and reproductive health care for all in the face of daily, racist, supremacist hate.