Statement on the Insurgency at the Capitol Building, Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021
CSU Presidential Task Force on Jewish Inclusion and the Prevention of Antisemitism
The Colorado State University Presidential Task Force on Jewish Inclusion and Prevention of Antisemitism unequivocally condemns the domestic terrorism that took place at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 following a rally held by President Trump. The armed mob that breached, terrorized, and vandalized the Capitol Building openly brandished the symbols and slogans of white supremacist, alt-right, neo-Nazi, and conspiracy theory groups. These symbols of hate included Confederate flags, nooses, neo-Nazi stickers, and white-supremacist flags, as well as a slate of symbols identifying domestic militias. Some of the rioters wore shirts promoting “Camp Auschwitz” and declaring “work brings freedom.” These are references, respectively, to Jewish people murdered in the Holocaust and the signage posted at the gates of Auschwitz and other concentration and extermination camps established by the Nazis. This mob, emboldened by Trump’s baseless claims that the Presidential election had been stolen, have amplified their voice by marrying their “cause” to those hate groups that have weaponized the rhetoric of anti-Black racism, antisemitism, and other forms of bigotry and hate. The actions of these groups and their rhetoric is inextricably woven into the fabric of the history of the United States. Seeing these threads so clearly on display focuses our resolve to work against such forces.
We accordingly deplore the shocking fact that these domestic terrorists were able to hold free reign over the Capitol Building, with lax police presence, in stark contrast to the police brutality and even militarized action taken against peaceful protestors marching for justice throughout 2020. As President-elect Joe Biden stated, “No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very differently.”
At its foundation, democracy challenges us all to engage in peaceful dialogue and interaction, across different identities and perspectives, leveraging the strengths of what we have in common and what makes us different. The work toward a more inclusive and equitable society has been led, for years, by the very people who have been the most oppressed. The need for those who hold privileged identities to intentionally learn about bigotry, to self-reflect on their own implicit biases, and to engage in collective action with those who have been historically disempowered has never been greater.
We fully support the statements from President McConnell and the Office of the Vice President of Diversity, and encourage our communities to work together to start the process of healing through education and dialogue and to reclaim our path toward justice.
– Presidential Task Force on Jewish Inclusion and the Prevention of Antisemitism
Colorado State University, January 10, 2021