A Reflection on Chaos at The Capitol

January 8, 2021

AMC denounces the actions taken on Wednesday by a hate-filled mob in Washington D.C. This should have been a day of hope, progress, and celebration following the election of Georgia’s first Black and Jewish Senators and the certification of a new president. Instead, we witnessed an egregious display of white supremacy. The terrorist attack on our nation’s capital will now be the new “day that lives in infamy.” Watching the events unfold, it quickly became clear this was not a simple protest, but a planned attack against our democracy executed by radical Trump supporters and white supremacists, with co-conspirators from the highest levels of elected officials.

The world witnessed 400 years of systemic racism on full display. The assault magnified white privilege and racial inequity. When peaceful protestors gathered in D.C. to support Black Lives Matter in June, the National Guard was deployed. But on Wednesday, rioters already breached the Capitol before the National Guard was even deployed. The hypocrisy of this moment cannot be ignored. Had these rioters been black they would have been met with force, or worse.

As the House of Representatives and Senate are left to investigate and determine how to protect our nation, my first concern is for the physical and emotional well-being of AMC’s many staff, volunteers, members, and the broader community. Witnessing this violence can have a profound impact on you and your families.  We must double our efforts to combat discrimination and hatred and leverage our mission and resources for a better world.

It is our hope that alongside the new administration we can usher in strategic initiatives to achieve greater conservation, access, inclusion, and safety, and achieve our vision of an outdoors where all are welcomed.

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John Judge

Chief Executive Officer, Appalachian Mountain Club