Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of white nationalists, incited by President Trump, was an assault on our democracy and a brazen display of white supremacy in action.

This was a shameful attempt to disenfranchise voters and interfere with the peaceful transition of power – but it was not new. It was the culmination of four years of lawlessness by President Trump, and hundreds of years of institutional racism. We condemn this assault on our democracy and the repeated attempts to subvert the will of American voters will not go unchallenged.

We must recognize that the bigotry and racism that enabled the violence on January 6 is rooted in the very founding institutions of America, which were built on the lands stolen from Indigenous people and on the backs of Black and Brown people. President Trump's relentless efforts to overthrow the results of a lawful election is designed to suppress these very same communities.

As we’ve written in this space before, white supremacy is woven into every chapter of our history, embedded into our institutions, celebrated in our National Anthem, and enshrined in the very Constitution our organization defends. 

Last summer, during a moment of reckoning for our country and our community, Black and Brown people who protested racial injustice and police brutality were met with tanks, tear gas, rubber bullets, and militarized force. We spent months defending these protestors, who were repeatedly brutalized by the National Guard and local police officers, and we shudder to think how police departments would have responded had these same people stormed a government building to protest police brutality.

This is the America we all live in, and it is on all of us to fix it. 

That is why the ACLU of Louisiana will keep fighting – now and in the future – to dismantle white supremacy, confront injustice, and build a more just future for everyone.