As lawyers sworn to protect the rule of law, we condemn the violent attack of the US Capitol and that of democracy itself
Yesterday began with hope and optimism, as I shared with you an uplifting video message of appreciation and greetings to mark the start of this New Year. Yet, as that message slowly cycled through your servers and email systems, positivity suddenly turned to collective horror. The nation and the world witnessed insurgents turn the US Capitol, a powerful symbol of democracy, into a scene of anarchy, lawlessness, and chaos. While these violent actions managed to disrupt, they ultimately did not derail the democratic process to affirm the win of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
As an organization of in-house counsel, and as lawyers sworn to protect the rule of law, we condemn the violent attack of the US Capitol and that of democracy itself. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” Yesterday we saw the tragic results of opinions taken as fact, causing worldwide disbelief and uncertainty. This type of thinking and action has no place in our society.
As the horrific events of yesterday unfolded, I want to thank so many of you for the kind notes you sent to check on the safety of the ACC team and their families. As you know, while we have team members in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Brussels, and Hong Kong, our association is headquartered in Washington, DC. For our US-based staff, the attack on the Capitol was especially personal and incredibly unnerving, uniquely impacting us all both in terms of scale and proximity. Your caring reminds us of the special ACC community we have built together.
As many of you likely did this morning, our staff discussed the events of yesterday during our daily virtual coffee. As we convened our discussion and attempted to process these recent events, a very special ACC employee whom we affectionately call “Coach Pam” (I hope every organization has their own “Coach”) shared these words to uplift us this morning: “Good morning ACC Family! Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. Today, pick your own pace and your own path to reflect, regroup, and recharge.”
We should all take that advice to heart.
Veta T. Richardson
President & CEO, Association of Corporate Counsel