Western States Center Statement on President Biden’s January 6 Remarks

President Biden addresses the nation on the one year anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. Credit: CNN

In response to President Biden’s remarks about the attack on the United States Capitol one year ago today, Western States Center Executive Director Eric K. Ward issued the following statement:

“President Biden spoke powerfully about the attempted coup that took place on January 6th of last year and the ongoing attempts to undermine the principle of inclusive democracy. As a candidate, the president spoke about how the white nationalist demonstrations of Charlottesville in 2017 inspired him to enter the 2020 campaign. He has a clear understanding of the threat that white nationalism poses to this country, and more Americans need to follow his lead.

“But his most important point may have been right at the beginning of his remarks: the insurrection failed.

“It’s critical that we take a hard look at the white nationalist movement that attempted to subvert the rule of law on that day, but it’s just as critical that we acknowledge the countless individuals, institutions and communities who have stood up in defense of inclusive democracy on that day and beyond. From law enforcement officers who bravely defended the Capitol, to millions of voters who stayed in line to vote, to bipartisan elected officials in places like Oregon who voted to expel a representative who enabled an attack on the state’s capitol complex, we’re surrounded by evidence that our communities care about democracy and are willing to fight for it. All of us need to understand that we have the power to defend inclusive democracy and reject the dangerous agenda of white nationalists and paramilitary groups.

“I’m glad that the president spoke so clearly today about the threat we face, and I urge him to make good on his word by moving quickly to end the filibuster blocking meaningful voting rights legislation and to take further steps to support state and local governments facing the threat of white nationalist violence on the community level.

“With allies across the country, we’re building a broad pro-democracy movement to defend the institutions that make up our inclusive democracy. It will take all of us to make that happen.”

To arrange an interview with Eric Ward or another member of the Western States Center team, contact press@wscpdx.org.

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