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Letter from ADL Southwest Regional Director Mark B. Toubin and ADL Southwest Regional Board Chair Mark R. Trachtenberg on the Attack on the U.S. Capitol

  • January 7, 2021

In its 107-year history, ADL has confronted the worst of human inclinations. We have done so knowing that our efforts are backstopped by America’s longstanding (albeit imperfect) democratic institutions. Yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol caused some to question the soundness of such reliance. The riotous intrusion was caused by disinformation and incitement campaigns, surging extremist activity, and a willingness by some to exploit both for political opportunity. Fortunately, Congress returned and completed its task of certifying the presidential and vice-presidential elections. We fervently hope that Congress’s ability to reconvene amid the chaos represents the beginning of reconciliation that sets an example of how our nation can civilly address our differences.

ADL and the Southwest Region are uniquely positioned to foster an environment that encourages civil discussion. This effort includes challenging the lies, threats and hate that imperil our democracy. Particularly, in response to yesterday’s events, ADL is advocating for social media companies to suspend President Trump’s accounts, as they would do for anyone else advocating disinformation and promoting violence.

We know that many of you are faced with the task of explaining yesterday’s events to children and teenagers. That is why ADL is offering resources to support the challenging conversations awaiting educators ​and families when they face ​young people in the aftermath of these events. More educational tools will follow.

ADL’s Center on Extremism, which in tangent with local ADL offices, began meeting with federal, state and local leadership to provide intelligence briefings on election-related extremist groups, continues to work around the clock to fulfill research requests aimed at keeping our communities safe.  COE is also working to identify extremists who engaged in yesterday’s insurrection.

You have a vital role as an ADL activist, someone who understands the importance of a vibrant democracy to the welfare and security of every individual, in helping our nation move forward from the events of January 6, 2021. We are counting on you: to work against racism, extremism, and antisemitism, to share our message via social media that hate and lies should not be have a home there, and lastly, to help remove any doubt that we can rely upon our democracy.

Yesterday’s events were hard to fathom. Yet, we cannot avert our eyes, and we must remain focused on the future. Together, we can rise.

Thank you for your support.


Mark Trachtenberg                                      Mark Toubin

ADL Southwest Regional Board Chair                  ADL Southwest Regional Director