Statement on Wednesday’s Insurrection at the Capitol

From our executive director, Ken Schorr:

Politics profoundly affects our work and our ability to receive fair treatment, adequate income, and needed services for our clients. While I usually avoid discussing partisan politics in my role in our organization, it is imperative to talk about politics in times like these. We have seen an extraordinary display of American politics this week.

The Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy is, as its name says, a legal advocacy organization. We use our training and skills as lawyers and legal advocates to get our clients what they are due according to the law. We believe to our core in the Rule of Law. Justice lives here, for everyone.

On Wednesday, a violent mob assaulted and vandalized the Capitol Building, during Congressional proceedings, for the purpose of disrupting the counting of electoral college votes to certify the results of the Presidential election. This is a horrifying event that fundamentally contradicts the Rule of Law.

Law enforcement met this crowd of mostly white extremists in a civil manner compared to recent police treatment of thousands of diverse, peaceful protestors calling for racial justice and fair treatment. The stark contrast shows deep institutional racism in our society and illustrates the importance of our work for racial equity and justice.

There must be consequences for this mob and its instigators to reinforce the principle that this is a nation of laws, that apply to everyone, to our clients who are often disfavored but for the law, and to the powerful and favored, who are often excused from compliance or consequences.

The effort to subvert the electoral college count was based on the unsupported assertion that there was widespread election fraud which was repeatedly exposed as untrue in the results of scores of lawsuits filed to overturn election results. This follows the persistent lie that there is widespread voter fraud, as an argument to support extensive and relentless voter suppression efforts, most of which is racially focused, as one court said, to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” We must continue to work to expose and root out these acts of racism as we elect our leaders.

Last, but not least, the State of Georgia, once in the core of the Confederacy, elected two US Senators on Tuesday. One is Raphael Warnock, a Black minister from the Church formerly pastored by Martin Luther King. The other is Jon Ossoff, a young Jewish journalist, the youngest person elected to the Senate in 40 years. I share this result not as a comment on the party they represent, but as an embrace of diversity and inclusion that is a hopeful sign of change.

Welcome to 2021, a new year.