Media statement from Roxana Bendezú, Program Director of Pax Christi USA, in response to the anniversary of the attempted d’état at the U.S. Capitol during the counting of the Electoral College vote one year ago today:

“Today, as we remember the coup d’état attempt that took place a year ago in the U.S. Capitol, the warning made by Father Bryan Massingale during his speech when receiving Pax Christi USA’s Teacher of Peace Award last year comes to mind: ‘White nationalism is the greatest threat to peace.’ He continued:

‘The greatest threat to peace in our time, both nationally and internationally, is the rise of white nationalism. White nationalism is the existential, visceral conviction that this country, its public spaces, its history, its culture, that these belong to white people in a way that they do not and should not belong to “others”, that America is and was meant to be and must always remain a white Christian nation. This means that multiracial democracy is an existential threat to white nationalism.

In order to analyze and seek long-term solutions, it is crucial that we remember that these types of actions have been supported and led by the U.S. government in different parts of the world at different times. For many of us, the scenes we watched on TV on January 6, 2021 were not only familiar but also triggering. The actions by the crowd present and their supporters around the country are an outcome of an occupiers’ mentality, part of the ‘values’ that the U.S. has promoted for hundreds of years.

We must continue seeking accountability for those involved in the January 6th coup attempt and other white nationalist violence. At the same time, we uplift the people who have and continue to stand on the right side of history. The ones who will never let go of their ancestors’ wisdom and will continue the struggle for liberation. The ones who recognize the actions perpetrated by their ancestors and work hard to create a world where we can all have what we need and thrive. The ones who have migrated recently and are organizing to change policies, domestic and foreign, so that all people can live lives with dignity.

Today, let us remember that we have power within us, many of us call it God. Our command is to collectively organize it!”

For more on the insurrection last year:

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