COLAGE Executive Director Jordan Budd issued the following statement in response to Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol:

What we all witnessed on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. was not the culmination of four years of hateful and violent rhetoric from Donald Trump, but rather the latest iteration of the United States’ legacy of white supremacy, settler colonialism, and imperialism. 

This is not the first time a racist white mob has attempted to upend democracy in the United States, but hopefully it will be the last. Rather than declaring “this is not who we are,” it is time for all Americans to directly confront the institutional racism underpinning the very fabric of our political systems. We will not succeed in uplifting democracy or bringing queer liberation to all members of the LGBTQ+ community until we do the work of dismantling white supremacy.

It is not shocking to see a confederate flag in the U.S. Capitol that was home to a statue of Robert E. Lee until last month. It is not shocking to see Capitol Police giving directions to rioters and taking selfies after nearly ten years of #BlackLivesMatter. This is who we are; but it does not have to be.

We are long past due for an honest discussion about how we arrived at this moment. Donald Trump, in all of his vociferous hatred, is merely saying the quiet part loud. He is a symptom of the rot, and being rid of him on January 20th will not be enough. As LeVar Burton put it, “True reconciliation and healing can only come as a result of justice being served.” Calls for unity without accountability amount to gaslighting.

Despite this, it is clear that Donald Trump is incapable of executing the duties of his office. To that end, COLAGE has joined with several other LGBTQ organizations in calling for Donald Trump’s immediate removal as President, whether by invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution or impeachment by Congress. May this be the first step of many not in restoring the myth of American democracy, but in truly building it for the first time.

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