Remembering January 6th, 2021

Statement of NSI Founder & Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer

on the First Anniversary of Jan. 6, 2021


On this day exactly one year ago, the United States Capitol—and our democracy itself—was attacked by violent insurrectionists seeking to overturn the results of a Presidential election.  The events of that day, and the role of certain national leaders in stoking it, are a dark stain on our national character and the historic triumphing of freedom, the rule of law, and the peaceful transfer of power that are key attributes of our nation.


We owe a massive debt of gratitude to the law enforcement officers who protected the Capitol—many at great personal cost—and to the many elected officials who did their duty to ensure the vote was appropriately counted and certified.  We also owe our enduring support to those who are carrying out the solemn task of uncovering the full story of what happened and to those bringing the perpetrators of the shameful acts of that day to justice.


For two centuries, the United States has been a global leader in democratic values, liberty, and peaceful transitions.  Developing democracies around the globe have long looked towards our and its leaders for guidance; the events of January 6th tarnished that standing in the eyes of America’s supporters and allies around the globe, and gave comfort and solace to our adversaries and repressive regimes around the globe.


The year that has followed the attack demonstrates, more than ever, the need for our country to overcome the bitter partisan divides that plague us–many of which contributed to the assault on the Capitol in the first place–and to unite as one.  Our adversaries take pride in meddling with our democracy and stoking these very same divisions.  Every day that we continue this infighting and undermine popular faith in our elections, we embolden and empower our enemies.  We must continue our longstanding national commitment to calling out malicious actors, both at home and abroad, and uniting ourselves in support of America’s founding ideals: liberty, equality, and justice for all.