Education is the heart of a functional democracy. In our schools we teach that elections and the peaceful transfer of power are sacred and defining characteristics of our nation. What we saw today — the violent and unlawful actions by a mob of domestic terrorists at the US Capitol, incited by our President and others hellbent on disrupting the will of the American people — is in direct conflict with what we teach our students.
Let there be no mistake that these actions were carried forth in the vein of white supremacy that has afflicted our nation since its founding. Today's events add an unwelcome layer to the unrelenting trauma that has defined the recent experience of so many educators and students; trauma that is inextricably linked to and inflamed by the racialized experience of Black and other non-white people in America. Only months ago, peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters were forcefully and brutally driven from the streets, while today, white nationalists were allowed to roam the halls of the Capitol. The disparate treatment of peaceful protestors and violent actors exemplifies the systemic racism within policing and our media.
As we witness the current events with horror, we remain steadfast in our resolve to execute on our mission because the march to equity and justice must be contextualized through a historical and critical lens, and thus is always intertwined with the pursuit of education. We know this moment will be seared into the brains of our students as a formative memory and we stand ready to support our educator members who will guide their students in the process of truth telling and reconciliation tomorrow and the days to come.