Details continue to trickle in regarding the planning behind last week’s attack on Capitol Hill. As the FBI warns of more political attacks across the country, Black lawmakers and civil rights advocacy groups expressed concerns about the role several Republican congressional members may have played in the attack.
A group of Republican elected officials and other major political figures followed behind Trump’s lead in promoting the ‘Stop The Steal’ hashtag fueling paranoia and fear around the baseless claims of election fraud. Some lawmakers did more than promote unfounded theories on social media and actively engaging with groups seeking to undermine the election certification. Ali Alexander, the mastermind behind ‘Stop the Steal’, says he received direct help from three members of Congress: Arizona Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar, and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama.
Others like Reps. Majorie Greene and Lauren Boebert leaned into a massive disinformation network, leveraging their power and platforms to spread violent rhetoric. Boebert reportedly tweeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s whereabouts while the attack was underway. Greene has continued to tweet false claims since last week’s attack further riling up the base.
During Wednesday’s impeachment debate, Rep. Cori Bush called on her congressional colleagues to address white supremacy within the Capitol grounds. “The 117th Congress must understand we have a mandate to legislate in defense of Black lives,” said Bush. “The first step in that process is to root out white supremacy starting with impeaching the white supremacist in chief.”
Bush was booed across the aisle for naming the clear and present danger posed by unchecked white supremacy to Black communities.
On the House floor, my colleague @CoriBush and I both called out the white supremacy at the root of the attack on our democracy. She was booed. I was not. The difference is skin color. https://t.co/N14sqLxvfu
— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) January 14, 2021
Among the first to call for the resignations or expulsions of members of congress who aided or supported the attack, Bush introduced a resolution to investigate all who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election.
Earlier this week Rep. Jamaal Bowman introduced the Congressional Oversight of Unjust Policing (COUP) Act to investigate the ties between Capitol Police and white supremacists.
This isn't what I expected my first bill to be.
But we must investigate how a fascist mob was able to overtake our Capitol and if there are any ties between Capitol Police and white nationalists.
We need to pass the COUP Act now. pic.twitter.com/ztpLkd2nH6
— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) January 14, 2021
Bush, Bowman and other congressional leaders are not alone in their demands. The Frontline, a collective of grassroots organizations, has mobilized to address the persisting threat of white supremacy violence and negligence of Black and other communities of color in policy agendas.
“We have been moving bases of folks to just tell their members of Congress to hold these folks accountable,” said Nelini Stamp, National Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Working Families Party and Campaign Director for the Election Defenders.
The Frontline member organizations include the Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, the Working Families Party, United We Dream Action, and the New Georgia Project Action Fund. Addressing the persisting inequities in the system worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic is a focal point for Frontline member organizations.
The groups are focused on working with members of congress to pass a people focused agenda and commitment to defeating white nationalism. Stamp said the Frontline was focused on getting support for the Breathe Act, healthcare for all, and putting people back to work.
“We need to meet people’s current needs, as well as lay down our roadmap to a society that can be more equitable,” Stamp said.