This is the first time in modern history that we have witnessed a horrific assault of this magnitude on our democracy.
Yesterday, an insurrection directly incited by the President of the United States and his most staunch supporters attempted to undermine our electoral process and a peaceful transfer of power. Earlier in the day, we saw dozens of Republican legislators ready to support the President and delay the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election in a display of political theater meant to appease the very same base of supporters who just moments later stormed the Capitol.
It is shocking, yet it is the most obvious culmination of the flames that the current administration has been fanning since taking office in 2016: race-based divisiveness, hatred, lies and, ultimately, violence. It has not gone unnoticed by our communities that there was a stark contrast between the National Guard presence in Washington, D.C. this past summer during Black Lives Matter protests and the sparse local police presence at the U.S. Capitol when confronted by white domestic terrorists who sported paraphernalia with the President’s name on it.
It is our hope that this blatant disregard for our democratic processes and the unnecessary violence that it has caused is the last, dying gasp of white supremacy and the end to the most destructive and ineffective Presidency of modern times. And it is our hope that voters never forget those who are complicit in this violence, those who continued to support baseless allegations of election fraud, those who pumped their fists and saluted this crowd of white supremacists as they walked by them on their way into the Capitol.
And it is our most heartfelt dream that we forever remember that there is more important history in the making that is being overshadowed in this moment, but which undoubtedly will have longer-lasting impacts:
- Black youth voters in particular were a prominent voice in this Presidential Election and continue to hold tremendous power to shape future legislation and elections at all levels of government
- Young people–and especially young people of color–are registering to vote and turning out to federal elections at increasing rates since 2016
- Key states like Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia have shifted, representing a new and more diverse and younger electorate that is interested in ending racism and police violence, addressing climate change, and increasing access to healthcare
- An overwhelming majority of the country has shown its repudiation for the current administration and believes in a peaceful transition of power
While we remain hopeful that this outrageous and insidious display of violence is a signal of the end, we will be very vigilant in the days and weeks to come to ensure that this not the start of a new wave of white supremacy and race-based hatred. Because this must end. The violence against communities of color must end. The political assaults on our democracy must end.
GSA Network will be steadfast in our work to protect and empower trans and queer youth of color. To provide light in a moment of extreme darkness in our nation’s political history. And to remind them that their voice will power our democracy for years to come.
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains trans, queer, and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities. In California, GSA Network connects over 1,000 GSA clubs through regional summits and youth councils. Nationally, GSA Network leads the National Association of GSA Networks which unites 40 statewide networks of GSA clubs, and GSAs Unite, an online campaign and petition platform supporting youth organizers across the country.