Insider NJ

NJ Citizen Action: We Will Not Forget January 6th

Insider NJ — January 7, 2021

Phyllis Salowe-Kaye, Executive Director, New Jersey Citizen Action:

"Yesterday will be remembered as one of the darkest days in recent American history. Donald Trump, who refuses to accept the will of the voters, incited thousands to violence against Congress. They overwhelmed the Capitol Building, met with a weak police response — a fraction of what BLM civil rights protestors have faced this year. These rioters flaunted Confederate symbols, erected a noose from trashed media equipment, and replaced American flags with Trump flags. Still, only about 70 arrests were made last night, in comparison to the over 300 arrests made following the June protests for George Floyd. There can be no question that systemic racism is a widespread issue; it runs deep in politics, law enforcement, and the justice system.

New Jersey is fortunate to be represented by brave Congressional leaders who spoke out against this authoritarian mob. In the face of real threats, they forged ahead into the early hours of the morning to uphold their constitutional oaths and certify the election results. We are thankful for their commitment to democracy and that they and their staff are safe.

Meanwhile, NJ's own Jeff Van Drew and other members of Congress who objected to certifying the election results will carry the shame and stink of their cowardice forever. Their support of Donald Trump's fascistic denial of a free and fair election sacrifices our democracy for his political favor. Congressman Van Drew and those who voted with him have betrayed the Constitution. This tragedy is on their hands.

Still, we have reason to hope and rejoice. Senators-Elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff defeated their incumbent, Trump-appeasing opponents in the Georgia run-offs, becoming the first ever black and Jewish senators from the state, and Warnock the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction. With their historic victories, Democrats have secured a majority in the Senate and an opportunity to pass policies that address real, urgent issues working families are facing right now. And despite anti-democratic pushback from a minority of Congresspeople, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are officially and unequivocally heading to the White House in just two short weeks. Trumpism and the GOP have been repudiated. We will continue the fight for racial and economic equality, undaunted by white supremacist threats. It will not be an easy fight, but it is a tremendously important one, and the tide of history and the will of the people are clearly on our side."

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