Ellie Wiesel once said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”
The events of this week in Washington DC should shock anyone who believes in the rule of law and the Constitution of the United States. The U.S Capitol was attacked and occupied, not as an act of protest but in an attempt to prevent Congress from carrying out its constitutional duty of certifying the states’ electoral votes for president. The mob that descended upon the Capitol was encouraged by the President of the United States, who simultaneously attempted to convince his vice president to illegally throw out the votes. There is no other term to describe this but an attempted coup.
That action was not singular, but was preceded by 4 years of unrestrained rhetoric of division and damage. We have seen what can happen when good people, regardless of political perspective, keep silent. It is imperative that all community members and leaders at any level, regardless of party affiliation, speak out against such behavior.
As Westporters, we can strive for unity in the face of such divisiveness. We can convey our disagreements in a civil manner and listen with open minds to others’ perspectives.
We urge all Westport citizens to stay engaged in a respectful manner. Together, we can continue the important work of democracy.