Policy Committee Finds Lies and Hate Speech to Be at Center of Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

Washington CapitolImage by Pierre Blaché
Committee plans further review for next steps to protect from future sedition against American Democracy

HARRISBURG, PA — On Thursday, the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee recently heard from an array of testifiers on how hate speech, lies and misinformation played a role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and how those who’ve taken an oath of office may have played a part.

“As public servants, we are held to a higher standard. The people deserve better from their public officials than manipulative rally cries fed by blatant lies,” Bizzarro said.

Professor Gerry Gendlin, who works in Edinboro University’s History and Politics Department; Shira Goodman of the Anti-Defamation League; Dr. Lauren Bairnsfather, Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh; and Frederick Lawrence, Georgetown Law, all provided perspective on the how hate speech fueled the Capitol attack and insight into the role that those who’ve taken the oath of office had in it.

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“One of the most poignant remarks of the day was, just because it isn’t illegal, doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong. We heard today about how many of the elected officials that fueled the flames of insurrection took things just to the line. Wrong is wrong and we must call on our colleagues to acknowledge the role they played in that deadly day,” Bizzarro said.

Congresswoman Susan Wild recounted her experience fleeing violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Congressman Conor Lamb highlighted his efforts to investigate and define the movements that are perpetuating hate.

“I thank Congresswoman Wild for her candor with the committee today. It’s difficult to see our Commonwealth and country in this state of division. I’m grateful to all of today’s testifiers for being a part of the solution and calling for accountability, addressing the hatred and bias at the root of the insurrection and working toward unity,” Bizzarro said.

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Bizzarro said the committee will review Thursday’s testimony and discuss how to proceed so that those who played a role in misinformation that ultimately resulted in the Jan. 6 attack can be held accountable.

The hearing can be viewed here and testimony is available by clicking here.

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