Yesterday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was a direct assault on democracy.
A violent, white supremacist mob incited by the President tried to subvert the result of a free and fair election.
In stark contrast to the often brutal suppression of peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations last summer, yesterday’s weak and even permissive law enforcement response to rioters brutalizing police officers, looting and pillaging Congressional offices, and disrupting the peaceful transfer of power was white supremacy and privilege on display.
Is the bar for acceptable behavior now at rock bottom?
That depends on how people who actually value democracy, decency, and justice respond.
Anyone who grew up in, has spent significant time in, or has studied democracies that became dictatorships knows that nothing is guaranteed.
Some elected and corporate leaders who encouraged or enabled yesterday’s riot appear to have come to their senses, at least momentarily, but it is up to us to prevent craven political ambition and greed from ever again trumping democracy and decency.
This morning, as I do every morning, I prayed: for God to grant me the courage to change the things I can, for the Lord to make me an instrument of peace and to let me sow love where there is hatred and light where there is darkness.
Individually, can we shore up the foundations of our shaky democracy or root out the deeply embedded racism that infests our society?
No, but what we do individually and what we collectively insist that elected leaders and corporations do matters a great deal.
So, let us recommit to fight together today, tomorrow, and every day in this pivotal year for democracy, decency, and justice with courage, a deep sense of urgency, and a loving spirit.