Op-Ed: The Assault on Our Capitol

January 12, 2021 Ascentria Care Alliance - Jeff Kinney
Along with the vast majority of the American public, we are appalled, saddened and angry about the attack on our nation on Wednesday by a minority group of extremists with a narrow disruptive agenda. The disparate law enforcement treatment of a largely white mob caused further pain to people of color who have experienced much harsher protest responses. It is an unfortunate reminder that we remain a nation very much divided along political and racial lines. While healthy and peaceful political discourse is and always will be a welcome part of our society, there will never be a place for what happened at the US Capitol, and all participants need to be held accountable.

While this day of insurrection will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days in our history, there were also shining examples of goodness on January 6th. While rioters were swinging metal pipes at police, hundreds of our staff was caring for vulnerable elderly. While domestic terrorists were shouting messages of hate, our staff was counseling teen moms with words of care and encouragement. While angry mobs tried to tear down our Capitol building, our dedicated employees were helping refugees resettle into their new communities.

We, as human services organizations, are blessed to have dedicated workforces that deliver their best selves every day in support of those needing their services. Unlike the selfish and delusional people who attacked our capitol Wednesday, we are the backbone of a society that cares for its most vulnerable citizens - the antithesis of that terrorist mob. The institutions and the people who serve in the human services sector are deserving of our continued respect, support and gratitude, and in times like these, they remind us of what is good in America.

We are one of the bedrock ecosystems that enable our fellow citizens to continue to have hope for a better future. It’s simple - people caring for and helping other people. Together, as a sector, we will make the difference that will ensure that hatred and violence do not prevail. Instead, it is our job to spread goodness, lift up our neighbors and be that beacon of light.

About Ascentria Care Alliance
As one of the largest nonprofit, human service organizations in New England, Ascentria Care Alliance empowers people of all backgrounds to rise together and reach beyond life’s challenges. We use an innovative human-centered care model to help individuals and families move forward and thrive – physically, intellectually, socially, spiritually and economically.

With many locations throughout the region, Ascentria serves children, youth and families; persons with developmental disabilities and mental illness; refugees, including unaccompanied refugee minors; and older adults.

Through productive collaborations and partnerships, we create measurable, positive impact that enriches our communities. Inspired by our faith-based heritage and guided by compassion, courage and integrity, we envision a world in which everyone can realize their fullest potential and share with others in need.