Posted January 15, 2021
A Message from the Ohio History Connection
January 15, 2021
Our democracy is sacred; it rests upon the rule of law which emanates from the Constitution. Before the original 13 states would ratify the Constitution, they insisted that the rights of individual citizens be protected, which resulted in the Bill of Rights. Among other rights, the First Amendment states that Congress shall not infringe on the right of free speech or for the people peaceably to assemble.
The mob which stormed the U.S. Capitol last week claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen was not a peaceful assembly. As a member of the American Association for State and Local History and the American Alliance of Museums, we join the numerous and resounding voices in condemning the recent violence at the U.S. Capitol as a “clear attack on democracy and society propagated by deliberate deception and misinformation from elected officials.”
Today as never before, we must stand as Ohioans, not as members of any one political party. More than ever we must stand together for one another. We must strive for trust in, and respect for, one another, our Constitution and the democratic process it enshrines.
Democracy is difficult, and sometimes contentious and messy. Our electoral system has always stood strong during times of national crisis, turmoil and uncertainty. And, as history has repeatedly demonstrated, the ties that bind us as Americans, in pursuit of a more perfect union, can overcome any division or challenge.
Continued threats of violence at our state capitol are distressing–– the Ohio Statehouse is a National Historic Landmark and the physical manifestation of Ohio’s belief in peaceful debate and democratic values. As Americans, we all have the right to free speech and peaceful assembly. We urge all Ohioans to remain peaceful and respect the sanctity of the Ohio capitol.
In this tumultuous and unpredictable time, it is our responsibility as historians to confront disinformation and propaganda that threatens our democracy. The Ohio History Connection, rooted in our core value of authenticity, will do our part to ensure Ohioans access to the tools and facts of history.
History is our tool and resource for understanding and healing our nation and our state. Let’s use history to find common understanding and restore trust in our republic and each other.