Like many of you, we watched with brewing outrage and great heartbreak as extremists and agitators stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed coup attempt to overturn the legitimate outcome of a democratic election. What we saw on Jan. 6 in Washington D.C., were violent acts meant to subvert the peaceful transfer of power, the very hallmark of our democracy.
The people have voted. In Indiana, Hoosiers had to overcome multiple hurdles to the ballot box in 2020, and the ACLU of Indiana fought to ensure that every Hoosier’s vote would be counted. But still, President Trump and several Indiana Congressional Representatives have consistently sought to undermine the will of the people and subvert the peaceful transfer of power.
We must also recognize that the bigotry and racism that enabled this violence is rooted in the very founding institutions of America. The ACLU spent the summer defending the rights of Black and Brown Hoosiers who were met with force while protesting against police brutality.
We shudder to think how police departments would have responded had Black and Brown people stormed a government building to protest police brutality. There would have been more teargas, live and rubber bullets, injuries, arrests, and deaths. We know it because we’ve seen it countless times throughout America’s history.
In holding all perpetrators accountable -- including those who overran the U.S. Capitol, as well as President Trump and the elected officials who fueled this fire -- we must also hold ourselves to account. A great nation like America can do it all. We can treat people equally, regardless of the color of their skin, and we can protect the rule of law. We can protect civil rights, civil liberties, and civil order.
We will continue to do the work, showing up at the statehouses, on the streets, and in the courtrooms, to ensure that our democracy and our election process is protected. We will help and uplift each other as we build the America that we aspire to be--an America where Black lives are valued, where “We the People” means all of us, and where the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed for everyone.