“There was not much that could have prepared me for January 6, 2021 — a devastating display of the cracks in our democracy caused by white nationalism, misinformation, and egregious abuses of trust by the previous occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman. “Just 3 days before insurrectionists stormed the Capitol intent on finding and killing Vice President Pence and harming many of my colleagues, I stood on the House Floor for my swearing in, motivated to heal our country and better the lives of my neighbors. Just 3 days before a noose was erected and confederate flags made their way onto and into the Capitol, I stood on the House Floor and took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Now we know that at the very moment when me and my colleagues were being sworn in, insurrectionists were well on their way to try and overturn the election results at the orders of Donald Trump. January 6 is one of the most disturbing and simultaneously telling events in our nation’s history — and we have to reconcile with the path that led us to that moment and to the moment we find ourselves in right now.”
“For too long, we have moved on from traumatic events in our nation’s history without accountability, action, reparations, and without establishing a baseline of facts — of the truth,” added Congressman Bowman. “Take slavery and redlining. Take the Tulsa Race Massacre and the War on Poverty. Take Systemic Racism which permeates every system in present day America. January 6 cannot be another moment in which we fail to address the root causes, pain inflicted, and trauma incurred in this country. As we reflect on January 6, let us also reflect on the actions we must take to ensure that an attempt to overthrow and destroy our democracy never succeeds. The reality is that right now, our democracy and people across our country are in need of healing. Healing requires action, it requires accountability, and it requires an unwavering commitment to telling the truth at all costs. It requires passing voting rights, protecting our democracy, reckoning with our nation’s dark history of racism, addressing inequities, and providing people the resources they need to believe in a future in which we respect and honor the truth, science, and one another.”
“On January 6, maintenance and hospitality staff, congressional aides, capitol workers, and Members of Congress were victims not only of a horrific security failure but of an insurrection carried out by people radicalized by lies and a President who loves himself more than our democracy,” said Congressman Bowman. “It is incumbent on every single one of us in Congress and in our communities to defend our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by honoring the truth. Together, we must work to create accountability and heal. A better and safer future is not promised, it is won.”
Following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, Congressman Jamaal Bowman introduced H.R. 276, the Congressional Oversight of Unjust Policing Act — or the COUP Act — to establish a national commission to investigate the attack, address the systemic failures in the United States Capitol security apparatus, and investigate ties between members of U.S. Capitol Police and white supremacist movements.
Congressman Jamaal Bowman recently urged President Joe Biden to issue a proclamation making January 6th a National Day of Healing to encourage accountability, action, and advocate for resources to address the complex traumas millions of Americans are grappling with.