ACLU of NC Statement on Marking One Year Since the U.S. Capitol Insurrection

RALEIGH, N.C. - As Congress met to certify the 2020 Electoral College votes on January 6, 2021, far-right Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, waving symbols of white supremacy, breaking windows, looting congressional offices, assaulting police officers, and vandalizing the home of the United State’s legislative branch.  Mere hours after the insurrection began, seven (7) members of North Carolina’s congressional delegation supported at least one objection to counting Joe Biden’s electoral votes. Those members were Reps. Dan Bishop (NC-09), Ted Budd (NC-13), Madison Cawthorn (NC-11), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Richard Hudson (NC-08), Gregory Murphy (NC-03), and David Rouzer (NC-07) (The Washington Post). In the year since, elected officials in North Carolina and throughout the country have continued to undermine public confidence in our electoral system and advanced voter suppression efforts.

Chantal Stevens, executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, issued the following statement reflecting on the consequences and lessons of the insurrection on January 6, 2021:

“History has shown the harm of failing to collectively understand the consequences of pivotal moments like the January 6th insurrection. Case in point, North Carolina currently has more than 100 confederate monuments or markers in public spaces. Tragically, we have failed to understand that Civil War commemorations should remind us of the devastation white supremacy wreaks on society. Instead, we still debate the meaning of such monuments, pretending that honor can be found in glorifying white supremacy and treason. We cannot make the same mistake as we assign meaning to the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, a more recent iteration of white supremacy’s devastation to our humanity. 

“We must not view the insurrection as a solitary moment in time. The day’s aftereffects continue to inflict damage on our republic. In North Carolina and throughout the country, politicians continue to jeopardize and sacrifice democratic principles in the name of white supremacy by perpetuating lies about the 2020 election. At the same time, these politicians strive to pass restrictions and create barriers limiting who gets to participate in our democracy, how they get to participate, and when their participation counts. 

“Our governing institutions have endured, not because they are inherently unbreakable, but rather as a result of constant defense against attacks that seek to advance white supremacy at the expense of our democracy. Understanding the meaning of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol is essential to defending our democracy, as is passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,  long-overdue legislation that would restore and strengthen our freedom to vote by requiring federal review of voting rule changes that could discriminate against voters based on our race or background.”