In the wake of George Floyd’s murder this past spring, the Community Foundation committed to listen, to learn, to call out racism when we see it, and to talk about it. With regard to January 6th, we definitely need to talk.

What we witnessed last week in Washington was not a celebration of free speech nor a thoughtful discourse on policy. Rather, it was a violent assault on our democracy, incited by our elected leaders and carried out by insurrectionists, who seemingly met with little resistance. While we are grateful that our elected representatives were protected, the fact that this invasion and destruction of federal property was encouraged and allowed to happen should shake us to our core.

The disparity in response between last Wednesday and the peaceful BLM protests this summer, the embrace of violence, the callous disregard of our democratic principles, the easy dismissal of fact and truth, are all an assault on our society. Even though this occurred far away at our nation’s capital, it is, in essence, an assault on us all. And be assured, none of this should be a surprise. For the past four years, we have witnessed an utter failure of leadership that instead of denouncing hatred, bigotry, racism, and violence, actually embraced and promoted it.

The Community Foundation is lending our voice to the strong tide of outrage that has risen over the last several days and unequivocally condemns these heinous acts. We are committed to our mission, with a heightened sense of urgency, to improve our community for the benefit of all. This includes, actively partnering with and supporting the good work of organizations that care for those in need, assist our country’s immigrants, create arts and celebrate the diversity of our cultures, make education available to everyone, expand civic engagement and participation, and find economic opportunity for each of us. And yes, finding a way to build a community that is equitable, anti-racist, peaceful, respectful, and democratic.

It will be a long and, at times, painful journey, but it’s work that needs to be done.