Today, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) issued the following statement regarding the unprecedented breach of the U.S. Capitol by white supremacist groups and supporters of President Trump in an attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election and thwart a peaceful transition of power.
“LDF vehemently condemns the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol today. What we saw today was an attempted coup and an act of domestic terrorism orchestrated by extremist factions and encouraged and egged on by President Trump, who made clear their intent to disrupt today’s final certification of the 2020 presidential election. Speaking to his supporters at a rally earlier today, President Trump incited his supporters to march to the Capitol, which has led to the alarming actions and dystopian scenes unfolding before our eyes. President Trump has repeatedly encouraged this behavior, telling the violent extremist Proud Boys months ago to ‘stand back and stand by’ during a presidential debate and repeatedly refusing to condemn white supremacists groups throughout his presidency. He also promoted attendance at today’s gathering saying: ‘Be there, will be wild!’
“The president has consistently escalated his supplications to white supremacist and extremist groups in an effort to avoid the inevitable transition of power resulting from his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Indeed, today’s insurrection at the Capitol is the inevitable culmination of the impunity with which Mr. Trump has violated norms and standards of decent conduct, engaged in ugly, violent and racist rhetoric, and disdained adherence to the rule of law. The president has been aided in his unconscionable conduct by a broad range of leaders in our country – elected officials, business leaders, media personalities, faith leaders – many of whom have condoned or supported the president’s abhorrent behavior and shameful rhetoric.
“For the security of our nation, President Trump must resign immediately. Every business leader, newspaper editorial board, governor, and political leader in this country should join in calling for his resignation. Congress should convene immediately and impeach this president for the second time. Given the threat he poses, Mr. Trump cannot be allowed to serve out the remainder of his term. He has demonstrated that he is unfit to do so. We are gratified that members of Congress have indicated their intention to complete the vote count as soon as possible. It is critically important for our nation that the transition to a new administration duly elected by the American people occurs without further disruption.
“Finally, we demand full and immediate federal, state, and local investigations of today’s acts that terrorized the American public and institutions. Those responsible must be held fully accountable – including the president.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.