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OPINION: Unity Can Not Be Achieved Until Justice is Served

The calls for unity on American soil as the Biden Administration begins would be welcomed from those that fueled divisions over the last four years if not for their lack of self awareness. 

History books will topline the call for the end of an “uncivil war” from President Joe Biden’s inauguration speech, framed by the passage. “To overcome these challenges—restore the soul and to secure the future of America— requires more than words. It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy: Unity.” 

We note that the call for “unity” from the President is much different from the House Republicans who continuously used it as a reason to not proceed with the second impeachment of President Donald Trump five days earlier. 

Those calls from the extreme right still ring hollow, especially by those who sowed the seeds of discord by voting against the certification of the Presidential election mere hours after a murderous mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol. 

For us, we look at the words from those in Charlottesville, VA, the city where a march by right-wing extremists spurred President Biden to run, as a guidepost in the road to bring the country and lawmakers together. 

White supremacists, self-avowed neo-Nazis and right-wing militias marched in a Unite the Right rally in 2017 in Charlottesville, which President Trump famously characterized afterwards as having “good people on both sides.” Days of white supremacists violently clashing with counter protesters ensued, including a driver purposely driving into a gathering that would kill Heather Heyer.

The message today from those in Charlottesville who fought the extremists, including from Keyer’s mother, to President Biden is simple: There is no unity without justice. 

“Unity is not uniformity, and unity is not without accountability,” added The Rev. Phil Woodson, the associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Charlottesville. “It’s really hard to be unified with people if you don’t have a common understanding of truth and a common understanding of justice. Otherwise, we’re speaking completely different languages.” 

There is no what aboutisms here. The Republican party, especially those in leadership that promoted and continue to practice misinformation of what happened over the last four years, should not have a seat at the table until they take responsibility for their actions. 

Our political system is built on the ideal of debate, each trying to build a majority by arguing the facts in good faith. Dissent of the minority is instrumental in our democracy. Finding common ground always produces better results to our problems.

President Biden was right when he said, “This is a great nation and we are a good people” in his Inauguration speech. This is not a condemnation of everyone proud to call themselves Republicans. But now is the time for GOP centrists to disavow the extremists in their party and make their message the ones their fellow Americans hear again.

9 comments

  1. The road to unity runs through truth and justice. (The original Superman TV show had it right: truth, justice and the American way.) All parties need to own up to what is, not what we or they wish would be, and then be accountable for it. Unity will follow. No common facts or understanding = no unity.

  2. Alas what is being demanded in uniformity. One needs to look into their own soul and ask why does the other side feel I said feel they way they do? except for extremist who are whacked (on both sides); ask why 74 million disagree with you. Honestly ask why. Charlottesville is NOT the Republican party and Dems need to stop what is their dog whistle. Instead of unity ask for LISTENING

  3. This nonsense that trying and convicting Trump only going to divide us is republican propaganda. For four years Trump and the republicans have been dividing us into blue and red states. Now all of a sudden they want to talk about unity.
    All they want to do is save their party and when they have power they do nothing.

  4. This also means that no one is above the law. Otherwise we will operate with two sets of justice, one for those in power and one for those who are not. Everyone needs to see that all (wo)men are created equal which means equal justice under the law. Only then can we unite under a common set of principles.

  5. I agree with unity. i agree with the republicans disavowing extremists. Now how about President Biden Disavowing the leftist extremist! Let’s start with crackdown on the violence in Seattle and Portland. Talk is cheap action is demonstrative!

  6. Partisan hacks like Rubio, calling the impeachment a joke, should be asked ONE question: had Obama or Hillary Clinton acted as the last WH occupant did, inciting a mob attack on the Capitol and then left office, what would they be saying then about an impeachment? More than likely, once they stopped foaming at the mouth, they would be asking for volunteers for a firing squad.

  7. So, I can commit theft from the company I work for, then leave my job so I can’t be prosecuted! Good to know.
    We have 2 versions of justice in America: one for wealthy white men and another for the rest of us. The only time that wealthy white men get punished for their crimes is when those crimes victimize other wealthy white men.

  8. Absolutely true! Truth and Justice for ALL, meaning ALL colors, genders, and faiths in our country, who each hold individual responsibility for their actions and words and must be held accountable for them. NO equivocation, swift action, ONE LAW for ALL, as documented in the US constitution. Corporations and individuals hiding under ‘no liability’ and using profit at any cost, must be subject to the law of common good as well– ‘Do No Harm’ to life, health, and the environment as well, however! There is much work to be done in this country with our consciences and souls.

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