01.13.21

ICYMI: Congresswoman Barbara Lee Delivers Remarks in Congressional Black Caucus Hearing on White Supremacy at U.S. Capitol Riots

Washington, D.C.Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today joined her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus for a virtual hearing on the deadly events of January 6, titled ‘U.S. Capitol Insurrection: White Supremacy on Display.’ A transcript and video remarks are available here

“Thank you very much, Congresswoman Lawrence and I want to thank our Congressional Black Caucus and our chair, really for first continuing to be the conscience of the Congress and also Chairwoman Beatty, thank you for your incredible leadership, you truly have come for such a time as this. The attempted coup last week is just the latest manifestation 

of the dangerous and violent white supremacy embedded in America’s DNA. Donald Trump has spent the last four years stoking the fires of white nationalism amongst his supporters. 

“He's peddling and has peddled conspiracy theories and lies in an effort to incite an insurrection against our government to overturn the results of an election and deny the will of the American people. This happened not secretly but in plain sight. The events of last week were planned, publicly encouraged by Trump publicly, and carried out confidentially without restraint by these white supremacist insurrections. 

“There's no question that our Capitol security leadership was unprepared for this, the question is why, especially after a summer when we saw militarized presence fully equipped with tear gas, rubber bullets, and tanks, facing civilians demanding justice for Black people in America. Yet when a violent mob of white supremacist Trump supporters carry out a coup attempt and breach the Capitol building, we saw law enforcement completely overwhelmed." 

“Black Capitol Police officers told me that they bravely fought, and I know this, to protect us, the building and themselves, and they were in combat with white supremacists. Given America's deep-rooted history of white supremacy and white nationalism and policing, this is no surprise, quite frankly. There are two Americas: one where black people are murdered for walking or driving or sleeping and one where white people are allowed to operate with complete disregard. 

“Let me just conclude by just saying how awesome this Black Caucus is and I wanted to, quote, our friend Wade Henderson I'm not sure if you heard his quote that I was presenting but I want to repeat this “everything we saw,” Wade said “at the US Capitol on January 6 was exactly who we are, because it's the product of who we have always been,” he said “until we face that truth, we will never ever change it.”

“And so, Madam Chair, members, those who are listening in with us today we have to have this moment of reckoning about the systems in place that perpetuate blatant injustice. The Congressional Black Caucus will continue fighting tirelessly to dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy.  

“Fortunately, one week from today we will have a new administration, we'll make that goal far easier, and as the scriptures do remind us that the light, always outshine the darkness.”