FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From the Desk of Dr. David Marion, 41st Grand Basileus
We witnessed one of the most abhorrent displays of anti-democratic behavior in our nation’s capital yesterday. Sadly, this was encouraged by the President of the United States of America. A Stop the Steal rally was organized near the White House before Congress began their constitutional duty to certify the Electoral College vote. During the rally, various speakers, such as Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, Jr., called for “trial by combat” and warned Republican members of Congress who did not support the pro-Trump efforts, “We’re coming for you.” President Trump told the crowd he would “never concede defeat” and “you will never take back our country with weakness.” He encouraged his supporters to go to the Capitol to “support” members of Congress objecting to the certification. Soon thereafter, his supporters breached the Capitol, draped a Trump Flag over the Capitol balcony, disrupted the certification process in the House and Senate, and forced elected officials, including our brother Congressman James Clyburn, to leave chambers for a more secure location.
Doc Rivers, head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers said, “Could you imagine today, if those were all black people storming the capitol, and what would have happened?” What indeed? This appalling display of insurrection was the first time the US Capitol had been overrun since the British attacked and burned the building in August 1814. This insurrection was met with less police force than many of the Black Lives Matter protests that we saw all across this country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. When black folks protest, they are condemned as thugs, met with riot batons, dogs, rubber bullets, assault rifles, shields, battle helmets, and tear gas, and they are immediately arrested. Federal police attacked peaceful protesters outside the White House over the summer, clearing the way for Trump to take a photo in front of a nearby church. By contrast, protesters on Wednesday were able to storm the halls of Congress, some carrying the Confederate battle flag. Now that we have seen this restraint, our expectation and demand is that such restraint is shown when black men, black women, and our black children encounter law enforcement.
While President Trump only has thirteen days left, we see what can happen in one day. We join with other leaders in asking Vice President Pence and the cabinet to exercise courage and immediately remove President Trump from office by way of the 25th Amendment for inciting an insurrection.