Statement on Yesterday’s Events on Capitol Hill: Weaponized White Privilege is a Threat to Our Democracy, Health

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We saw something yesterday that wounded this nation we love: an attempt to stop the peaceful transition of power that’s been the hallmark of our democracy since our earliest days. We are heartbroken and angry.

The reckless and violent actions at our nation’s Capitol yesterday are alarming. But let’s be clear – this behavior, and the mindset fueling it, is not new. It’s been boiling over for a long time. These vicious events are the product of a deep, volatile divide in our nation, worsened by the president’s persistent and irresponsible call for division over connection, retaliation over dialogue, and exclusion over belonging.   

When we think about the actions of extremists yesterday, let us not make the mistake of thinking this was a dispute over an election that’s proven to have been free and fair. Let us not believe that the lack of response by law enforcement was due to surprise. Yesterday was a clear display of white privilege (whether recognized or unrecognized), and a stark contrast to the force used for decades, and in recent months, against peaceful protestors standing up for racial justice. Some say this is the evidence of enhanced de-escalation and peace training of law enforcement. Time will tell.

So, let us be clear again. Weaponized white privilege is a threat to our democracy. And a threat to our democracy is a threat to the human rights, health and well-being of the people of this country, and of Colorado. The two are fundamentally linked.

Yesterday is, yet again, a clear marker of the collective work we must do to build toward a more just future. We stand with all who work hard each day to disrupt behaviors, policies and systems built with bias, racism and oppression at their core.

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