op-ed ACBE Statement on the January 6th Insurrection
by Danyelle D. Kimp y Roz’lyn Wyche Co-Founders, Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators
The Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators (ACBE) absolutely and unconditionally condemns the actions of those racist insurrectionists who violated the sanctity of our United States Capitol on January 6, 2021 in a failed coup d’état. We must come together and hold those responsible accountable for their actions; including white supremacy advocates and all the enablers who made it possible for us to get to this point in our nation’s history.
The Ugly Truth Since January 6th, several leaders have come forward to condemn the insurrection at The Capitol while claiming that “This is not us” and “This is not America.” Well, that is a lie. This is America in all aspects. To believe that this is not America is to believe that our country has always respected democratic processes and election outcomes. One has to erase the first eight decades of the American experiment, when most Black people were held as property and very few free Black people in the North were permitted to vote. One also must discount minimally the years between 1876 and 1965, when in at least one-third of the country, People of Color were violently forbidden to exercise their right to vote. And let us not forget that women were uniformly denied the vote prior to 1920. But it doesn’t have to remain that way. In order to move forward and progress as a nation we must first embrace some ugly truths.
Acknowledgment and Accountability To not acknowledge what happened and why is a dangerous denial of reality. The same reality that People of Color have faced since America’s inception, simultaneously ignored by white America throughout its history. We must not minimize the events of January 6th, but instead hold accountable everyone who has led us to this stage.
The Way Forward Educator organizations across Alaska must intentionally include educators of color in the discourse concerning racial and class dissidence. This advocacy must always include the truth. Not part of it, but the whole thing. Our students should know the ugly truth of what led to the insurrection at our nation’s capital. They should have been taught about the Massacre and Coup D’état of Wilmington 1898 so that more people would have been able to recognize the signs of a pending attempt to overthrow the government and avoid such a terrible fate. Moreover, if taught the truth, those insurrectionists might have been less inclined to commit such a heinous act in the first place and less likely to lash out at a system they falsely believed was “oppressing” them. They must also know and understand that unchecked racism in the form of white supremacy and white privilege has permeated and infected almost every single private organization and all government institutions in the United States and has divided our nation for the past 400+ years; which tragically culminated in the events of January 6, 2021. It is therefore incumbent upon us as educators to not live in denial, but accept what is factual and the truth, and teach our children the lessons of our racist past so they’ll be better than we are now and ensure that something like this never happens again.
– The Alaska Coalition of BIPOC Educators (ACBE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “Champion equity in education for communities of color in order to achieve equality.” Their top three priorities are 1. Health and safety of educators, students, and communities of color 2. Equity in academic opportunities and curriculum 3. Hiring and retention of educators of color. – Follow and contact the ACBE at https://www.facebook.com/ALASKACBE
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