January 7, 2021Statement
Educators decry yesterday’s dangerous assault on the Capitol by a mob, instigated by a mentally unfit and corrupt president.
We call on the swift removal of Donald Trump from office, either by the articles of the 25th Amendment or any legal means necessary, before he is allowed to incite further violence and do more damage to impede the peaceful transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden on January 20. How we respond in these next hours and days will be remembered by our students, our children, and our grandchildren for generations to come.
Not only does Trump refuse to accept the democratic and legitimate results of the US presidential election, he will continue his violent attempted coup of our democracy, an affront to the millions of voters who exercised their fundamental right to choose a new president.
The racism, violence, and police corruption that has been wrought on our communities of color was on full display yesterday in the US capitol and left no one unharmed in its wake. The domestic terrorism we witnessed was a culmination of Trump’s acceleration of violent, unchecked white privilege, laid bare for all of us to see. As the mob of terrorists stormed the US capitol, ransacked the offices of our elected officials, waved firearms and the confederate flag, and promoted anti-Semitic rhetoric in “the people’s house,” it was an assault on all of us.
We are horrified but not surprised that the armed insurrectionists were largely given a free pass to enter and exit the Capitol and that only a handful have been arrested. We cannot move forward as a country unless we recognize the roots of yesterday’s violence: structural racism and white supremacy, which grow unabated in our government, our economy, our systems of learning, and our systems of policing.
In a year when peaceful Black Lives Matter protests are met with armed military police, tear gas, and rubber bullets and a Black woman can be murdered in her own home with no criminal charges filed, the disparate treatment of these rioters is further confirmation of the two very different justice systems in our country.
Striking union workers (including educators), water protectors at Standing Rock, protestors trying to get children out of cages, LGBTQ+ activists, and Black Lives Matter protestors fighting for Black liberation are routinely derided and labeled “thugs” while these largely white terrorists face no repercussions for an armed takeover of a government space.
We call on the leader of these white terrorists, Donald Trump, to be removed immediately from our highest office. This act of terrorism requires no less.
We join millions of others to denounce this attempted coup, and we commit in the coming days to redouble our efforts to teach anti-racism, to center Black people and other people of color in our curriculum, and to build a path toward a more just world for our students.
Cecily Myart-Cruz, UTLA President
Alex Caputo-Pearl, UTLA NEA Vice President
Juan Ramirez, UTLA AFT Vice President
Gloria Martinez, UTLA Elementary Vice President
Julie Van Winkle, UTLA Secondary Vice President
Alex Orozco, UTLA Treasurer
Arlene Inouye, UTLA Secretary
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