Yesterday, white supremacy was on full display at the US Capitol and at government buildings across the nation. These attacks represent a blatant and illegal attempt to deter democracy and promote white supremacist beliefs — which harm everyone. All of us have a duty to respond, not only with condemnation, but with sustained action against the instigators and their supporters.
Though Congress has certified the results of the presidential election, they must do more. They must call for the removal of President Trump and begin impeachment proceedings immediately. Republican leadership must ensure there is a peaceful transition of power on and past Inauguration Day, and all members of Congress who incited, encouraged, or participated in this attack must be expelled for breaking their Oaths of Office. Those responsible for yesterday’s attacks must be held equally accountable under the law.
We must also be careful about how to characterize yesterday’s events. SAALT’s work on national security and immigration issues since 9/11 has made it clear that labeling acts of extremist violence as terrorism is dangerous and paves the way for the targeting of Black and Brown communities, as seen through the War on Terror framework. We can and must stand vigilant against yesterday’s attacks without resorting to such characterizations by demanding that what happened yesterday is characterized as white supremacist violence. SAALT stands with our Black allies, who are rightfully pointing out the double standards in how the white supremacists behind yesterday’s events are being treated, as compared to the peaceful protesters during last summer’s uprisings.
“For our own communities, who were retraumatized by yesterday’s events, we are with you. The past four years have been a relentless surge of policies and attacks against the bodies and rights of so many communities, ours included. SAALT will continue to press for the reversal of these xenophobic and racist policies from the Trump era and push for bold solutions that will improve the lives of everyone.”Simran Noor, SAALT Board Chair
As South Asians, we also have work to do within our communities. There are reports of Indian Americans being present at and encouraging yesterday’s attempted coup. Given what we witnessed from the 2020 Howdy Modi event in Texas featuring Trump and Modi, this is no surprise. We have work to do within our own communities to raise awareness about the links between Hindu nationalism and white supremacy, and the dangers of allying with the elements who orchestrated yesterday’s events. Simply put: We cannot condemn one fascist and excuse another. SAALT calls on its entire community to hold these truths and stand united against nationalism, fascism, and imperialism on all its fronts.
SAALT will continue to share news and coverage of the violence, as well as help connect those affected by the chaos with local resources. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or requests.