Home > Uncategorized > Advice for Non-Profit Managers Applies to Classroom Teachers as Well: No Sugar Coating; Name Wednesday’s Riots for What They Are

Advice for Non-Profit Managers Applies to Classroom Teachers as Well: No Sugar Coating; Name Wednesday’s Riots for What They Are

January 11, 2021

My daughter in Brooklyn who works for a non-profit shares insightful posts on Facebook… and this one from NonprofitAF, a web page written by Vu Le, offered advice to organizations making “public statements about the violent fascist coup attempt” that took place in Washington DC last week. As I read through it, it struck me that this advice needs to be taken by social studies teachers across the country as well since far too many news reports are not heeding the advice offered in recommendation #3 and are referring to “the events of Wednesday” or “the tragic event of the past week” and not calling them what they were: violent right-wing, white supremacist, fascist coup attempts and attacks on democracy. 

As Vu Le writes, the time for euphemisms and looking the other way is past. To hear the GOP members who voted to negate the will of the voters now complain that voting on impeachment would be “divisive” requires an adjective stronger than “hypocritical”. As Vu Le asserts in recommendations #11 and #12, to overcome what happened on Wednesday, January 6, requires action. 

11. DON’T call for healing and unity. Healing and unity cannot take place without accountability and justice first. We cannot and must not “meet in the middle” with Nazis and fascists. It only gives them legitimacy and power. We’ve compromised so much with racists and bigots, and look where it’s gotten us. No more.

12. DO call for justice: If we do not have justice, if the people who coordinated and fueled these attacks do not get severe legal and professional consequences for their actions, these violent coup attempts will continue. Call for impeachment, expulsion, and criminal prosecution for the president, elected officials, corporations, and anyone else who supported this. If you think that’s too “political,” get over it.

I am an incrementalist and a harmonizer at heart… but I find that Vu Le’s perspective is accurate in this circumstance. Joe Biden will have a lot on his plate when he takes office: COVID; re-regulation; restoring the public’s faith in government; restoring the public’s faith in facts; and doing everything possible to prevent the economy from collapsing due to the impact of the pandemic and the unsettled international scene. If Congress fails to impeach the President and hopes that the pivot to Biden’s inevitable message of “healing and unity” will somehow appease the 128 officials who voted to deny Biden the office he lawfully was elected to they need to look at the flags the rioters waved, the messages they posted on line, and the messages on the clothing they wore. The rioters on Wednesday were not patriots or protesters. As Vu Le reminds us:  “They left bombs and nooses, carried the confederate flag, and wore T-shirts emblazoned with Nazi symbols and slogans.” 

If politicians and pundits want to declare “this is not who we are”, then a strong message needs to be sent to those who were trying to define themselves as “patriots”. 


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