Statement on the Election Results

November 9, 2016

Dear Friends,

We are writing to you in deep sadness, shock and outrage. Donald Trump’s election confirms that the deep-seated racism, white supremacy, and misogyny of Strom Thurmond, George Wallace, the KKK, White Citizens’ Councils, segregationists, Nazis, and lynch mobs has never gone away.

As tempting as giving in to despair or fear might be, we must remember that we are situated in a uniquely powerful position to fight back. As law students, we have the keys to institutional power and the respect that accompanies those keys, whether we merit this or not. It is our responsibility to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced and to speak with them, to bear the risks of action for those for whom that risk is too great. By resolving to move forward, we can build a stronger and deeper coalition for justice. We can forge ahead with true solidarity instead of perfunctory mentions of intersectionality. The time has come to double-down on both internal reflection and outward action.

Business as usual means ignoring the deeper needs of our loved ones and all those who are most vulnerable and condemning them to a long, slow death. We must not abandon each other. The president-elect rose to power by driving the country apart, and we cannot expect any different once he takes office. We must continue to show up and fight for Black, Native, Muslim, Sikh, Jewish, Latinx people and all people of color. We must continue to show up and fight for immigrants, women, LGBTQIA people, people with disabilities, homeless people, and poor people. We must persist in defiance of a president who demeans us all and the grave possibility that, once again, the person occupying the highest office in the country may use fear and division to destroy vital and hard-won civil and human rights. Hoping that someone else will come in to fix the mess we have all made is not going to cut it, and it is going to require a lot more work and a lot more sacrifice than we anticipated.. The Georgetown Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild will be here fighting — and we hope that you will join us.

This is a wake up call. Many of us have asked ourselves what would we do if we lived in Apartheid South Africa, or Hitler’s regime in Germany. We have asked ourselves what side we would be on when slavery was the rule of law, and then when public schools desegregated in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Now is the moment to answer that question and dedicate ourselves to the side of justice.

Signed,

The National Lawyers Guild

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