Anita Sarro: Expects more from Gov. Baker

  • In this Dec. 3, 2020, file photo, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker speaks after touring the DCU Center as it gears up to be used as a COVID-19 field hospital for the second time in Worcester. Nancy Lane/The Boston Herald via AP, Pool, File

Published: 1/13/2021 2:58:58 PM

I was deeply troubled by Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent response to the violence in Washington on Jan. 6.

While he condemned violence, he also promoted the flawed and dangerous argument of false equivalence, drawing a parallel between Black Lives Matter demonstrations and the deadly insurrection that occurred in the Capitol.

They are far from equivalent. Yes, some BLM demonstrations have been marred by destruction of property by opportunistic trouble-makers, but otherwise they have been largely peaceful. In contrast, the assembly on Jan. 6 was dominated by MAGA proponents, incited by Trump and his allies, who came with loaded guns, clubs, Confederate flags and the clear intent to take down the government.

Of course, violence in all forms must be condemned. But to say, as Baker did, that he sees the same thing “on both sides” is to echo Trump and to trivialize the horror that occurred. What we saw on Jan. 6 was not the doing of a few bad apples; it was the result of a movement that is rotten to its core.

BLM demonstrations are a response to a deplorable truth: 400 years of racist policies have caused unspeakable harm that must be confronted and changed. MAGA mobs embrace a hideous lie; the election was fraudulently won and should be overturned by force. Whether he intended so or not, Gov. Baker’s statement amplifies that lie and gives it legitimacy.

Extremists vow to return to Washington, D.C. to disrupt the Inauguration and wreak more violence against government property and human life. As this threat grows, Baker clearly, unequivocally and without qualification or comparison, should condemn the reprehensible actions of Jan. 6, the lies that led to them, and any attempts to repeat them.

Anita Sarro

Amherst




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