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Cornelius News

OPINION: Unity in Community on Jan. 6 attack in nation’s capital

Unity in Community members visited the Levine Museum off the New South

Jan. 18. OPINION. By Sue Rankin White. Unity in Community North Mecklenburg condemns the violence that took place on January 6, 2021, in the attack on the U.S. Capitol. We were angered and saddened by the sights and sounds of angry rioters as they brandished weapons in their assault of the Capitol. They unlawfully occupied, vandalized, and looted the building.

Lives were lost; people were wounded. The attack, an attempted coup, was an act of White Supremacy and anti-Semitism as evidenced by those carrying Confederates flag and flouting this symbol of White Supremacy throughout the halls of the Capitol as well as those displaying symbols of anti-Semitism.

Now, sadly, for the first time since the Civil War, troops occupy the halls of the Capitol to protect against further violence.

As many of us watched the siege from our own homes, we looked on those in the mob as mere strangers. However, we learned later that members of our own Lake Norman community were among those in the crowd.

Photo by Shawn Thew/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While they indicated they were not among those who stormed the Capitol, they were, in fact, there to overturn the results of the valid election and throw out the legally cast votes of hundreds of thousands of black, brown, and Native people.


UiC strenuously objects to such efforts to disenfranchise any voters. UiC stands for the highest degree of democracy possible, as attested to through the efforts of UiC supporters in the months and weeks leading up to the election. These efforts included voter education, organizing Get Out The Vote, and writing postcards to those individuals who had been removed from the voter registration rolls—many of them, voters of color.

Let’s stop pretending this is not who we are. Sadly, we know otherwise. Based on what we have learned together through our UiC educational activities and small groups, condoning wanton violence, celebrating symbols of White Supremacy, attempting to disenfranchise certain voters, marching to overthrow the vote are all too familiar.

History of violence

We must learn and acknowledge our history of violence as a nation as well as the violence that occurs every day in our country. UiC condemns this racial violence and inequity. We must do more; we must be better.

Time to work together

As we seek to move forward, we hear the cry from many for peace and unity. While UiC also calls for peace and unity, we believe this cry rings empty and hollow unless we are willing to take responsibility—talk about our differences, learn the truth about our country and our democracy, rid our community of those symbols of White Supremacy and hatred, and work together for racial equity and justice. Only when we are willing to take these steps can we begin to restore peace and create unity among us.

On October 26, 2019, UiC held a Stop The Hate rally on the Davidson Village Green. Together with UiC, those attending signed a community pledge avowing to condemn hate in all forms.

In keeping with its mission and this pledge, UiC:

—Invites our fellow residents in North Mecklenburg to join us in open and honest dialogue to better understand and value our differences;

—Urges our local communities to remove/relocate/replace all signs and symbols of White Supremacy, such as the Confederate monument on Zion Avenue in Cornelius;

—Calls on the mayors of Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville to continue to promote community conversations on equity and inclusion; and

—Urges Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville town boards to adopt formal resolutions denouncing the violence against our democracy that took place on January 6th.

UiC believes the responsibility of bringing about social and racial justice starts in our own local communities. We cannot have unity without accountability. The attack on January 6th gives us another chance to make amends for the violence and take up the mantle of racial equity and justice. Join us now!

—Sue Rankin White is a founder of Unity in Community, a multiracial organization committed to achieving racial equity in North Meck. To contact UiC, click here.