Wanting Better for Our Country

David Myers, President and CEO of the American Institutes for Research, sent a message to AIR staff on Jan. 6, 2021, after rioters broke into the U.S. Capitol. A revised version of that statement is below.

Like so many of you, I watched the events at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, Jan. 6, with shock and disgust. The violence and destruction that took place threatened the safety of our nation’s capital, where AIR has offices, as well as the safety of our elected leaders and the law enforcement sworn to protect them.

Protest has long been a part of the American ethos and has been used effectively to champion the causes of equality and freedom throughout this country’s history. What we saw on Wednesday was different: It was insurrectionists seeking to intimidate our leaders and overturn the results of a fair and free election. This was not a display of patriotism; it was one of anarchy. It was wrong, and it was un-American.

It is important to note that the rioting and violence that occurred was driven—in great part—by a relentless flow of misinformation, fearmongering, and a rejection of the very values that we all hold dear as Americans. It is easy to get frustrated and wonder if the work we do really makes a difference. I want to assure you that it does. Those of us who seek truth, who believe in science, and strive for equity will make the world a better place for everyone.

We are resilient, we are committed, and we will get through this together.

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President and Chief Executive Officer