Joy, today. Resolve, tomorrow. 

In this week’s blog, our Assistant Director of Public Service Programs and lead on USFVotes, Angeline Vuong, reflects on the attacks on the Capitol and what impact they have had on her and others. In the first few days of President Joe Biden’s term, Vuong calls on us to continue our fight against injustices with love, and to remain hopeful for what our country can be. 

As a young Hill staffer, I was awestruck every time I walked into the Capitol. My office under Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC6), the Majority Whip of the House of Representatives, sat on the 2nd floor of the Capitol Building. Every day I would walk to work, go through security with Capitol Police, and walk across the Rotunda steps beneath the images of our founders, white faces with experiences so different from my own as an Asian American daughter of immigrants. 

Going in and out of the Capitol Building, there is a deep reverence for the People’s House. Staircases and corridors I know all too well as I would take constituents from South Carolina on Capitol tours, taking moments to myself to just stand and breathe with a deep love for the nation’s capital and history—history that honors those before us, to build a country that is possible for everyone. 

On January 6th while watching armed insurrectionists take over the Capitol and desecrate the center of American government, I could not help but be reminded of a singular thought–the history and legacy of white supremacy as a systemic and regenerative ideology that ties the very fabric of our nation’s founding. The rot of white supremacy and institutional racism are continually reborn as different movements, and the mob insurrection on the nation’s Capitol was another manifestation of that pattern. 

At first, the Georgia runoff election results seemed like a beacon of hope and unexpected joy. The grassroots multicultural coalitions, helmed by Black organizers and including Asian American, Pacific Islander and Latinx leaders, showed the possibilities of fighting voter suppression and investing in bridging communities instead of dividing them. But within 24 hours, the violence that we saw at the Capitol muted some of the poetry of that victory and reminded me that racial progress in this country has always been followed by an uptick in violence—violence that is chilling, unhinged, and completely predictable. 

However, as I sit on the eve of the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, I can’t help but lead with hope rather than fear. Now, against the backdrop of the crises plaguing our nation, e.g., white supremacy, racial injustice, climate catastrophe, and a pandemic that is disproportionately killing people of color, we can see what leadership looks like again. Our future leadership in this 46th Administration is based on trust, honesty, and compassion, leadership that is driven by love.

“Our future leadership in this 46th Administration
based on trust, honesty, and compassion,
leadership that is driven by love.”


We know that we are born out of turbulence and tragedy in an attempt to separate us. What we see in our nation today–shown in the November election and in Georgia this month–is the compulsion to come together. It is the commitment to be one, to have a nation that sees us all and serves us all. We have a clear mandate–to reckon with the reality of our history and to acknowledge the disconnect that separates us and to take steps to repair it. The White House, the House, and the Senate, have been actively called upon by the majority to offer this country vigorous and courageous leadership.

As we grapple with the aftermath of terrorist attacks on our nation, I am reminded that terrorism only works if we let it overshadow our joy. The hatred and vile behavior only work if we’d allow it to steal from us–our celebration. With a solid resolve, we turn to the task of our time–sustained by faith, driven by conviction and the love we have for each other–of coming together for the purpose of a future that we all deserve. 


Capitol HillCongressman James Clybrnethical leadershipGeorgia RunoffJoe BidenKamala HarrisUSFVotes

Leo T. McCarthy Center • January 20, 2021

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