We are deeply disturbed by Wednesday’s riots in the nation’s capital. Scenes of violent insurgents roaming freely, destructively, and without immediate consequence through the halls of Congress are appalling. We condemn the rioters and the elected and appointed officials who incited them, including the President of the United States. These actions imperil our democracy.
We are reminded that our refugee brothers and sisters flee anti-democratic forces to find a safe home in the United States. Our refugee clients strive for years to find safety and freedom under the protection of our nation’s values – democracy, freedom, liberty, equality, and justice. This week’s attacks are a direct assault on these values.
We are also reminded that Black, Brown, and Indigenous protestors have worked for generations to protect our democratic values and attain the American promise that all people are created equal. These non-violent protestors have been met time and time again with violent force, unlike the violent rioters who attacked the Capital.
We cannot stay silent in the face of this destructiveness. We can and must work even harder to build a community – here in Western New York and across our nation – that affirms that all people have a voice in our democracy.