This D.C. School’s Letter to Parents About the Attempted Coup Is Perfect
It's the clear-eyed, full-throated denunciation that the moment requires.
Yesterday’s right-wing coup at the United States Capitol attempted by extremists with the president’s encouragement is, first and foremost, a national constitutional crisis. But for residents of the nation’s capital (who, it’s worth mentioning, aren’t represented by the government they share a city with) it was also a local crisis as emboldened rioters walked out of the Capitol and into the streets surrounding it.
At least one D.C. school delayed opening by two hours today because of the unrest. The letter sent home to parents explaining the decision was posted by NPR reporter Hannah Allam, whose son attends the school, which is unknown — a fine thing considering kids and parents deserve privacy. The statement itself is definitely worth reading.
“Today, our government embarked on a process intended to certify the will of the people of this country to elect a new president and vice president. Instead, our Capitol was overcome by the will of a small, but privileged, few who succeeded in disrupting that process with violence and chaos,” the note began. This is the kind of clear, unambiguous prose that many professional journalists witnessing the rise of right-wing ideology and violence over the past five years have struggled to muster.
“This afternoon, white mobs moved through police barricades, unimpeded as they climbed, defaced, and denigrated the Capitol Building to bring our democratic process to a halt. These images stand in stark contrast to other recent events in our city and our country. They remind us with incisive clarity that white men and women can move freely, even in unlawful and violent ways, while Black men, women, and children cannot sleep drive, run, or breathe with a guarantee of safety.”
Or breathe. The author, we presume an administrator at the school, is not messing around. Comparing the meek, enabling response of the police to yesterday’s violence at the f****** Capitol to the militarized, violent response to non-violent protests of police brutality this past summer isn’t an original point even less than 24 hours after the coup began. But it is one worth repeating, and the school’s promulgation of that message to parents means it’s not only the children receiving an education.
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