Professional org apologizes for saying 'both sides' of political aisle should do better

Following the events of Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, the American Political Science Association released a statement encouraging "both sides" of the political spectrum to do better.

This statement was deemed to be too controversial to many of APSA’s members, prompting the professional organization to release a revised statement a few days later.

The American Political Science Association apologized for a statement in which it suggested that “both sides” of the political aisle in America have work to do in order to create unity. 

Following the deadly riots on Capitol Hill, the APSA released a statement in which it encouraged “both sides” to “do better” and work together for the good of the nation. 

“The efforts to begin reconciliation yesterday after order was restored are reflective of what public officials need to be doing to help rebuild confidence in our democratic institutions, including agreement by both sides to do better and work together to dismantle the systems and structures that lead to the harm,” the statement read.

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Ben Ansell, a member of APSA council announced via Twitter, “I’m afraid to say this statement, which includes the unfortunate phrase ‘both sides should do better’ was not run by the Council and I certainly don’t approve of this kind of equivocal response. One side was responsible.” 

The backlash from Ansell, as well as several other members, prompted APSA to release a new and revised statement filled with apologies for its original statement. 

“We apologize for the Statement of January 7th on the insurrection in the U.S. Capitol. The statement failed to adequately address and condemn the historical, social, and political contextual factors that led to it, including xenophobia, white supremacy, white nationalism, right-wing extremism, and racism. We also condemn the racial disparities in treatment by law enforcement and the unequal application of the law. We apologize for the distress our statement caused during this painful moment in our history,” the revised statement reads.

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University of Florida political science student Nicolas Lahera told Campus Reform that the statement sets a dangerous precedent. 

“The association has destroyed any credibility they may have had and further proved that conservatives are not welcome in public affairs,” asserted Lahera.

“Their (updated) statement is disgusting, appalling, and a clear partisan attack. Their blatant attack on conservatism and Republicans is alarming because it sets a precedent that we can be vilified. This statement emboldens professors to grade my work differently than my colleagues; they already have bias against me, but now they have a false sense of justification as well. For the last four years leading Democrats have told their supporters to disrupt Republicans, attack their values, and preclude them from conducting business. Both sides need to stand up for peace and both need to focus on election integrity. These are not extremist principles. They are the foundation of the United States and need to be upheld.”

Campus Reform reached out to the president of APSA for comment but received no response.

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