The National Health Law Program condemns the events that have unfolded in Washington, DC today as rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol. The November election, as endlessly confirmed by state election officials and over 60 judges, was the most fair and secure election in our history. Yet the President refuses to accept the results and has spent the past two months inciting his supporters to engage in violent actions to overturn the valid results.
Given the direct action by the President to enflame the rioters, we call upon our highest-level officials to take swift action to guarantee the peaceful transfer of power and preserve our democracy.
We are further enraged by the double standard of policing in plain view today. Last year, police in full riot gear assembled on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during Black Lives Matter protests, intimidating peaceful protesters. Police in riot gear used tear gas to disperse peaceful protesters so the President could have a photo opportunity. Today, no such presence was seen and in fact evidence is emerging that police let the rioters through the gates and took selfies with rioters in the U.S. Capitol building. Lawful, peaceful protests against police violence were violently disrupted again and again last summer but today, white rioters were not met with any violence. If people of color had attempted to enter the Capitol to engage in a peaceful protest, let alone with the violence seen today by the rioters, the results would have been scores of injuries and deaths.
We want to acknowledge that our feelings pale in comparison to the trauma, frustration, and hurt that Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color experience today seeing this play out on a national, and indeed international, stage. We state again that Black Lives Matter.
NHeLP is committed to doing its part to end white supremacy. We follow the lead of social justice and civil rights organizations and will continue our efforts to address inequities in health care access.