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Parrott: Our Democracy’s Peaceful Levers of Change, Not Lies and Violence, Should Be Celebrated and Strengthened

CBPP Statement: January 7, 2021 - For Immediate Release

CBPP today released a statement from Sharon Parrott, president, on the events of January 5-6 in Georgia and Washington, D.C.:

On Tuesday, the people of Georgia showed the nation and the world the power of democracy. After years of work by many organizations and individuals, often led by Black women, to fight back against racially motivated voter suppression tactics, the people of Georgia used peaceful democratic processes —with unprecedented turnout by voters in both political parties in a hotly contested runoff — to effect change in their state and the nation.

Sadly, the very next day a riotous, violent mob incited by the President attempted to subvert not only the outcome of the presidential election but the Constitution on which our democracy is based. The attempt failed, but not before blood was shed. We are deeply grateful that after a harrowing day when our representatives and senators, along with their staffs and many others, faced danger from this mob, they returned to the Capitol to meet their obligations and certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“Peddling lies and inciting violence have no place in our politics and policy debates.”

While we are relieved that some sense of democratic order was restored, we remain deeply troubled by the events of this day and the fractures in our country they reveal once again. The symbols used by this mob — the Confederate flag and nooses on the Capitol lawn — leave no doubt that it aimed, in part, to threaten and disenfranchise people of color.

For nearly 40 years, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has engaged in our nation’s policymaking process to promote policies that reduce poverty, promote equity, and broaden opportunity. We work within our nation’s constitutional and legal structures, seeking change through the power of our analysis and the engagement of others in policy debates. Peddling lies and inciting violence have no place in our politics and policy debates. They undermine our democracy, deepen divides and discord, and put innocent people in harm’s way.

Our nation faces grave challenges, including a still severe health and economic crisis; gaping inequities across lines of race, ethnicity, and immigration status; and severely stressed democratic institutions, processes, and norms. As an organization we stand ready to work in the coming year with the Biden-Harris Administration and all members of the 117th Congress to advance equity and social justice using our democracy’s peaceful levers for change.

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