Yesterday, January 6, 2021, the nation and the world witnessed unprecedented acts of domestic terrorism fueled by reprehensible white supremacist and anti-Semitic ideologies: a mob stormed and occupied the US Capitol during a joint session of Congress when our elected representatives were gathered to certify Americans’ votes of the 2020 presidential election.
The attack posed not only a violent threat to the life and liberty of our elected officials and those who protect them; it also threatened the democratic ideals upon which our nation—and our College—were founded.
MMC released a statement on the College’s Instagram story yesterday evening condemning the assault. I repeat the condemnation here to stress MMC’s position on this matter, which is of profound importance to the College as an institution of higher learning whose mission is in part to develop an awareness of social, political, cultural, and ethical issues in the belief that this awareness will lead to concern for, participation in, and improvement of society.
An assault on democracy is an assault on our community of global citizens, who understand that education is at the heart of liberty. When our democracy is threatened, so, too, are the ideals of our College, including the civil and free exchange of ideas, and a belief in the dignity of all human beings.
We stand in solidarity with all those around the nation and the world who condemn the attack and the heinous intentions behind it—nothing short of the overthrow of American democracy.
We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, which rightly calls out the contrast between the aggressive, sometimes violent response of law enforcement to BLM protesters whose cause is righteous and the government’s lenient treatment of a largely white mob that breached the US Capitol with the goal of subverting democracy.
And we stand in solidarity with those who recognize that, at its heart, the storming of the US Capitol was motivated by anti-Black racism and anti-Semitism, which are intertwined forms of ethno-nationalist hatred. Make no mistake: these were no mere “protesters” or “demonstrators,” as they were called by many in the government and media. They were white supremacists intent upon overturning the legitimate result of an election that took place in the context of widespread voter suppression efforts, which were disproportionately aimed at communities of color.
The unspeakably outrageous assault that took place yesterday on our fellow citizens, the democratic ideals by which we live, and the institutions that we hold sacred is a call to action, loud and clear, and it must motivate us to redouble our efforts to further activate the MMC mission of pursuing social and racial justice.