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Friday, May 7, 2021

Not here for it

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Ever since President Joe Biden spoke of unity in his inauguration address, the word has been ubiquitous. Everywhere I turn, it’s there: Unity.

I’m not here for it.

I’m not here for it because I know Shinola and what isn’t.

It’s ironic that some of the loudest voices calling for unity have been some of the most disruptive for at least the last four years — if not longer. In recent years, though, they’ve had a supportive megaphone in the White House.

Those calling for unity want us to pretend the insurrection of Jan. 6 didn’t happen. The farther we get from Jan. 6, the more the Republicans back away from their stance of accountability for fellow legislators and former President Donald Trump.

They’ve moved on to unity as if we’re supposed to just forget bad behavior. Oh, that’s right, we are when it’s white, Protestant men and women. If Democrats don’t follow suit and agree to unity, then they’re not really for it. It’s a bullying tactic and Republicans are very good at bullying. Unfortunately, Democrats are good at being bullied.

Democrats are falling over themselves to look like unifiers and not dividers. Republicans use it to their advantage. It’s a smokescreen the GOP has perfected: accuse the Democrats of the very behaviors the Republicans exhibit and watch Democrats acquiesce. If memory serves correct, Sen. Mitch McConnell went into President Barack Obama’s first term making it known he planned to disrupt and obstruct at every opportunity. That sure doesn’t sound like unification to me. Now that the Democrats have the presidency and majority in the House and Senate, the Republicans want unity.

McConnell and his ilk are just following the blueprint of hypocrisy Rep. Newt Gingrich laid to maintain power and control.

Democrats should model the Republicans and vociferously vow to be obstructionists. Yes, that creates division and tension, but I can’t understand how one can unify with a person who endorsed the execution of colleagues. How do you unify with people who purposely spread lies to the American people and helped cause an insurrection? How do you unify with people who send racist dog whistles to the American public and then get more offended at the accusation of racism than actual racism? How do you unify with people who believe Democrats eat babies, drink their blood, wear the faces of teenagers and all other outlandish conspiracy theories?

Unification is always a goal, but there are some fundamental differences that make unification impossible. For there to be real change, real unification, I was taught you must have an open and honest conversation about the issues and try to understand the other’s perspective at the very least. Honesty is not the American way. Since the Civil War we’ve been sweeping fundamental issues under the rug and pretending everything is hunky-dory. Many have been living under the illusion of an indivisible nation, but that is the ideal, not reality, as the events of Jan. 6 demonstrated.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s possible to unify with racists and white supremacists. They are the antithesis to unity. And that is what we don’t want to grapple with in this country. We don’t want to accept that there are some among us who shouldn’t be, who can’t be. We can’t continue to overlook, sweep under the rug and pretend for the sake of “unity” because it’s not real. It’s an illusion that can easily be shattered.

I’m not here for illusions.

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