Today we have witnessed an attack on American democracy.
The unprecedented events in Washington DC have challenged our American system of government to a level unforeseen in this country.
Answering the call of President Trump to storm our nation's capitol in defiance of the election results, the world witnessed a mob of violent extremists on their mission to "take back the country" and uphold a leader who is reckless with his words and displays dangerous conduct.
It is not a crime to protest. In fact, it is a sacred right Americans hold dear and a form of action to bring about social change. But the images we have seen today: windows being broken, law enforcement with drawn guns and our elected leaders being ushered from their offices for their own safety; is heartbreaking.
The irony of these actions include the manner in which the breach was handled. Months ago when Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters were planning to peacefully march, the National Guard was called and there was a united force of armed officers to greet the protesters. However, because the President initially withheld the National Guard in response to today's events, the mob breached the Capitol, destroyed federal property and released tear gas into the halls of Congress.
Americans should demand that all leaders denounce this behavior. Accountability is a must and it starts at the top. Every person who contributed to the violent events that transpired today should be held to the standards of the law.
In America, we are accustomed to different political ideologies. We are accustomed to being disappointed with the outcomes of elections. And though there may be disappointments, we as Americans must demonstrate respect for our fellow man and the institutions that uphold democracy.
Author and motivational speaker, Brian Tracy says, "the true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis." Americans are experiencing a crisis and the world is watching to see how we will respond. As the mayor of this city we call home, I call on all Kankakeeans to be an example of a response that upholds the best of who we are as people. Let us lift in prayer our elected officials, law enforcement officers, media professionals and those who are in harm's way protecting our American institutions. And furthermore, let us lead in a manner that reflects civility and upholds our nation's values.
Download - Mayor Wells-Armstong Responds to Breach on Capitol Hill