The coup attempt unfolding in Washington D.C. and state capitals across the country should shock but not surprise us. Since taking office, Donald Trump and his administration have embraced white supremacists and their authoritarian disregard for democracy, civil liberties, and equality. Today’s actions were the obvious next steps following years of escalating rhetoric and behavior.
This does not make the chaos any less frightening. The scene outside the U.S. Capitol displayed a gruesome, terrifying image of the fascist forces Trump has empowered: Confederate flags, a giant cross, and Nazi imagery — including the antisemitic words of U.S. Congresswoman Mary Miller from our own state of Illinois, who praised Adolf Hitler in her speech to the mob. JCUA has called for her immediate resignation.
The ineffective response by police to stop white nationalist violence demonstrates an enormous double-standard with the way peaceful protestors have been treated this year and for years before. It is terrifying to imagine the level of violence that protestors would have faced if they were not white. As we work to transform policing in Chicago, let this be a vivid reminder of the deep inequalities embedded in systems of policing.
As the situation in Washington and across the country develops, JCUA staff is staying updated, communicating with our partners, and providing action steps for members. We will process today’s event at our JCore meeting tomorrow night. You can also stay abreast of our activities by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, joining our member Facebook group, and checking our Election Landing Page — which is regularly updated with resources, events, and action steps.
We believe in a multi-racial democracy governed by laws and institutions that protect us equally, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, sexual identity, and immigration status. What is happening today is an affront to everything JCUA and our community stands for. We will work together in solidarity and continue to fight for the city, state, and country that we desperately need.