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U.S. Capitol Attack Statement

Dear BAC Community,

Yesterday, we witnessed an insurrection and an attack on the U.S. Capitol complex timed to disrupt both houses of Congress in session to certify the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

Like you, my family and I watched in stunned silence as these events unfolded. One of the most disturbing moments for me was when I saw, in my children's eyes, a sense of fear and disbelief. I can only imagine how horrified, scared, or angry you and your families felt while watching this international tragedy unfold.

The sense of entitlement and privilege with which these mobs broke into the Capitol so swiftly and with little resistance requires much inquiry and reflection. We must call out the stark differences between yesterday's handling of rioting with the treatment of peaceful protests broken up in front of the White House in June. Today, the BAC's mission of promoting social justice and democracy through civic engagement holds even greater importance.

Regardless of our personal beliefs, emotions remain raw while we process the disturbing images reverberating across media outlets that run contrary to basic American values. Although some may want to react from a point of anger, this is a time to reflect on the roles we play within the BAC and the greater society. Through our ability to listen to each other and celebrate our differences, we are able to achieve our best. We have an obligation within our communities to lift others up, and motivate ourselves and others to hold together the fragile body of our democracy.

I am heartened by the affirmation of many united political leaders who rose above politics to complete one of the most important processes of our democracy. So, even in this turbulent moment, we know with certainty the transition of power to President-elect Biden will take place on January 20, 2021. I know we will persist and overcome the most insidious of tests facing a relatively young Nation and the oldest modern democracy.

It is a stark reminder to all of us-regardless of where we live around the globe-that democracy should never be taken for granted. We should be able to proudly hand a just society and a healthy democracy to our children and future generations.

As an academic community, we stand together to support each other and assert our commitment to the ideals of democracy. We are in this together!

Dr. Mahesh Daas, President