On the Last 24 Hours of American History

by
January 7, 2021
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Evergreen’s Clock tower surrounded by blue sky on a sunny day

Dear Evergreen Community,

Early this morning, the U.S. Congress affirmed President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’s election victory, after a sickening day of violence, chaos and threats.
 
Yesterday many around the world gasped as rioters at the Capitol heeded President Trump’s cry to disrupt the outcome of a demonstrably free and democratic election. Here in Olympia, a group stormed the governor’s mansion, forcing the Washington State Patrol to move Governor and First Lady Inslee to safety. Meanwhile, the state of Georgia elected its first Black and Jewish U.S. senators, who will bring new leadership and perspectives in Congress.
 
Evergreen’s senior leadership met last night, seeking to make sense of what is happening, and what it means for Evergreen. These events over the last 24 hours are powerful reminders of the paralyzing division within our nation that has sadly grown only deeper in recent years. Yet our democracy, even at this moment of unprecedented danger, has so far upheld the rule of law and the will of voters.
 
For some of us, the riots in Washington, D.C. rekindle fear, anger or sadness we experienced during the turmoil at Evergreen in 2017. And it’s impossible not to see a double standard in the feeble response to those storming Congress, many brandishing symbols of racism and terror, compared to the hyper-aggressive response to Black Lives Matter protests over the summer. Who may protest and how our government responds are critical questions which our nation must confront.
 
The prospect of future assaults on state and federal government institutions raise legitimate questions about events in the weeks ahead.
 
We know we are committed to the protecting the health and safety of every member of our Evergreen community. We will provide support for those seeking it, and we will be vigilant in securing the college’s facilities, grounds, and social media. Tomorrow and in the days ahead, Evergreen's senior leadership will be reviewing and planning any additional actions we need to take in fulfilling this commitment.
  
In peace and hope,

Evergreen's Senior Leadership Team