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Detroit Regional Chamber Statement on the Violence at the Capitol

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah issued the following statement on the Jan. 6 violence at the nation’s Capitol:

I spent the bulk of my career in Washington, on Capitol Hill and with two Presidents – all Republicans. I never once imagined what we are witnessing today would be possible. Fellow Americans turned into mobs by the words of purported national leaders is not just unprecedented, but in fact, a direct threat to our democracy.

To see these mobs physically assaulting the U.S. Capitol – the cradle of American democracy – firearms drawn within the walls of the Capitol, anarchists occupying the floor of the U.S. Senate, and the offices of members of Congress is indeed the saddest moment in the American experiment in my lifetime.

In my days in Washington, I never viewed those in the other party as enemies. In fact, they were friends we would socialize with at the end of the day. Despite our policy disagreement of the moment, inevitably, we would find an issue where we would work together as colleagues.

The actions of today will reverberate beyond our shores and for years to come. Our allies and foes alike are shocked. Our allies are rightly concerned about the stability of American democracy and global leadership. Our foes see exactly what they have worked for – America divided and democratic norms being shredded.

I recall a 2014 quote from President George W. Bush, “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” This ethos is more important than ever as Americans from all walks of life work to rebuild after today’s damage. Leaders of both parties and from both public and private sectors must unite, align their intentions, and end the attack on our democracy by focusing on what unites us. The constant focus on leveraging the issues to divide us must come to an end. As we have seen today, this practice used for personal political gain has cost our society far too much.

Sandy K. Baruah
President and Chief Executive Officer
Detroit Regional Chamber


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