Friends and Colleagues,
“Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to build what we call the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”
Congressman John Lewis in the New York Times
The world witnessed yesterday that no country is safe from hate, lies, and racism if it is not addressed with unanimity, strength, and a commitment to continuously create a more perfect union. It was a dark day that saw a vile and violent attack on our democracy. This national disgrace has been instigated over the years by President Trump, his cronies, and the Republican Party, who to serve their selfish, arrogant, and greedy ambitions by perpetuating alienation and anger. Let us not forget that it was not only the disgraceful messaging of Donald Trump that led to this but also the passive and very active support of many Republicans in Congress that continued to propagate the lies regarding the authenticity of this past election which, reinforced the conspiratorial fantasies of those who desecrated the seat of our democracy.
It’s clear that had this been a Black Lives Matter March or even an anti-Trump rally, security and handling of the situation would’ve been different. This administration has met peaceful protests with violence when it does not agree with the message. There would not have been federal law enforcement officers opening barricades to let post protesters into the capital building or taking selfies with them without internal support for the insurrectionists. The depth of this evil in our government should not be overlooked.
Yesterday’s horrific actions should be a wake-up call to all Americans regardless of political ideology. We all need to actively assert in every way possible that this is not what makes America great. It is our commitment to freedom and justice that all people are created equal and need to be treated throughout life that way that has made us the torchbearer for democratic reform worldwide. Violence is not part of the process of democracy. Our greatness comes from our ability to come together as a community, care for each other, and achieve what was once thought unachievable. It is not our military might that the world looks up to, but the moral authority that the United States offers that can bring about justice and a better world.
Intolerance of hate and political violence will not be enough to solve this problem. It is time that we begin to think about ways that can get us back on the path of building what Martin Luther King called the Beloved Community. It is time for all Americans who care about democracy, justice, and other peoples to act. The battle for the soul of America continues. We have seen great victories this week and in November that demonstrate the importance of engaging in building the power of traditionally disenfranchised communities in the spirit of community with those who experience more privileges. These actions should only strengthen our commitment to the creation of healthy, just, and equitable communities. Yesterday’s assault on “the people’s house” will only accelerate and strengthen our resolve to make the Beloved Community a reality.
David Chavis, CEO