Home News Center Statement from K. Ricky Watson, Jr. on the Breach of the U.S. Capitol Building

Statement from K. Ricky Watson, Jr. on the Breach of the U.S. Capitol Building

January 9, 2021
K. Ricky Watson, Jr.

On Wednesday, we saw the double standard of our law and justice system on full display. Insurrectionists who attempted to overthrow the United States government should be called exactly what they are: thugs, heathens, savages, monsters, criminals, white-supremacists, predators and anarchists who should be held accountable for their actions.

Instead, we see posturing from people who have enabled this conduct for years. Maybe they didn't think it would go this far, but it did. Toxic masculinity, entitlement, and white rage plus zero accountability equals what we saw this week: white victimization of nothing but the figments of a scared, hateful man's perverse delusions of grandeur. And we all knew it could come to this. If they didn't think it was possible, they should have. 

As an attorney, I took an oath to uphold the constitutions of both my state and the United States of America. That means something to me. Black and Brown people using their constitutionally protected right to protest peacefully are met with guns, gas, and the military's full force. White insurrectionists illegally storming one of our most sacred halls of democracy in an attempted coup are met with a welcome party and selfies. This is America. This is who we are - built on violence, force and coercion.

Only white supremacy holds our nation back. Once we confront and address it, we'll be better off and finally able to move towards the perfect Union even our founding forefathers couldn't conceive. We can be better than this, but we clearly aren't there yet. This is why our work matters. 

Social movements like the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Suffrage, rights for the LGBTQIA+ community and Black Lives Matter point to the possibility of progress. Such progress only comes when we call out systems of oppression and elevate marginalized voices to cast a new vision for an equal and just democracy. 

This week may have shaken us, but we cannot let it deter us. The world we are creating stands in direct opposition to the world of white supremacy that many in our nation are desperately clinging to. We must be prepared. We must protect ourselves and our spirits. And we must be fearless in what we do because we are on the side of good. Never forget that. None of us are perfect, we don't always get it right, but we all strive for a more just and fair country. Let's find strength in that as we get through these tough times.

Your partner in this movement,
K. Ricky Watson, Jr. 
Executive Director,
National Juvenile Justice Network  

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