SWHPN Condemns Riots at U.S. Capitol Building

Watching the events from yesterday unfold, and then reading many responses on social media and in major news and journalistic outlets, we at SWHPN feel the need to reflect and respond. As an organization, we obviously strongly condemn the insurrectionist riot that occurred at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and at statehouses around the country.

While social justice and self-determination are pillars of social work, what happened yesterday was an attempt by a group of nearly all-white people to compel their desired election result over the expressed wishes of millions of Americans who voted differently. Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are guaranteed rights, but breaking windows and doors to enter Congress for the sole purpose to cause havoc and delay a procedural process to certify the President is not.

But there is another layer to yesterday’s events that must be highlighted: the stark differences in how police treat Black Lives Matter protestors (and Black people, in general) versus how white rioters were treated yesterday made clear the racial chasm we face. America’s past is rooted in racism; beyond the police, this can be seen still in our work today, impacting Black and Brown patients, their families, and our colleagues.

Creating just, equitable systems that create safety and security for all is the only antidote. 

If you are unsettled, outraged, shocked, saddened: take a moment to name and honor those feelings. And then let's begin the work of dismantling the white supremacist structures that allowed such an event to occur.

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