My Response To Right-Wingers Asking For 'Unity' Now

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
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When it became clear that Trump lost the election, some of his supporters asked for empathy, grace and understanding of their feelings — even though they didn’t extend the same to those who didn’t vote for him back in 2016. Joe Biden often makes calls for unity and coming together so that we can try to move forward as a nation. And many people are latching onto those calls. But there are still many people, especially BIPOC and other marginalized folks who aren’t. After years of disrespect, we have no interest in unity, and we shouldn’t be shamed for rejecting the notion that we need to come together. We shouldn’t have to play nice with people who don’t treat us as equal, and often vote to deny us our human rights.

It’s Joe Biden’s duty to call for bipartisanship; he’s the president. Right now, the country is in a dire situation. And the only people who can help us move forward are right-wing conservatives. So Biden has to appeal to them and attempt to get them on his side, at least a little bit. He has to play the game. For him, that’s the only way he can hope to get anything accomplished as POTUS. Because even though the Democrats have the majority in both the Senate and the House, the Republicans are loud in their rejection of progressive measures . So, Biden and Harris are going to have to at least pretend to listen to them so that maybe they can enact some real (and much needed) policy change.

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But private citizens are not Joe Biden or any other politician. There is nothing out there that states we have to play fair with people who disagree with us. From the very beginning, Republicans, especially Trump supporting Republicans, have made it abundantly clear they only care about themselves and their needs. So what makes us think that all of a sudden they’ll play fair? The odds of that happening are pretty much non-existent. None of them have any interest in kindness or putting aside our differences. They’re only playing that card now to try and gaslight us by wielding their desires for “peace.” What they actually want, what they have always wanted, is power and supremacy. If Trump was still President, they would not be calling for unity, they’d still be chanting about the wall and the Muslim ban.

Think about the Capitol insurrection. What is it they were scaling the building for? Not to protest financial inequity or racial injustice. They didn’t storm into a federal building to protest the way the Trump administration handled COVID. No, this group of white people took a federal building under siege because the 45th president told them to. And he told them to do that because he was mad that he rightfully and fairly lost the election. Let that sink in. An angry mob of white people forced their way into a federal building while physically attacking law enforcement to put hundreds of people in danger. Killing a police officer. Because their white supremacist-in-chief was so mad he lost the election that he refused to accept the results. The election he lost because large numbers of BIPOC showed up to vote him out. If unity was what Republicans were after, they should have centered the marginalized voices desperately calling for Trump’s removal.

How can anyone expect Black people and other marginalized folks to have unity with these people now? We don’t have anything in common with them on a fundamental level. They think there’s something wrong with us because we advocate for basic human rights. As if thinking people deserve a living wage, access to housing and affordable healthcare, and an equitable education is a bad thing. Wanting to be treated as an equal, and not be shot dead by cops because of our skin color, is somehow unfathomable. Can you imagine the kind of people who think it’s radical to want that? And if they’ve made it as clear as they have they don’t agree with us, why do we then have to be nice to them? There’s no common ground between us if they don’t even see marginalized people as worthy of basic needs. You can’t have any sort of equity with a group of people who can’t understand that inequity exists.


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When it comes to equity, they don’t want it, no matter how much they try to convince people otherwise. Sure, some people may fall for it, but most people know the truth. You can’t reason with people who have made it abundantly clear where their loyalty is. And as soon as someone who isn’t a rich, white man gets a little bit of something, they have a total meltdown. Donald Trump told his supporters to go to the Capitol. He spent his entire presidency riling up crowds of gullible, racist white bigots, telling them that Mexicans were catapulting themselves into the country to steal jobs. That Black people are thugs who need to be put in their place. He enacted the Muslim ban and removed protections for the LGBTQ+ community. All because he was afraid of marginalized people having some sort of equality. They completely fell for it.

In what world are we supposed to find some sort of common ground with people like that? Because their actions make it clear they’re strictly out for themselves, with no regard for our humanity. They will do anything and everything they can to maintain their power. Since none of their other (often violent) actions have worked thus far, they’re going to pretend that they want us to all work together now. But they don’t want to work together; they want to dupe us into allowing them back in. And then, they’ll throw us under the bus to get power over us again. It’s a tale as old as time, and we aren’t falling for it.

Conservatives and far-right leaning people asking for unity don’t actually want to unite. They literally threw a potentially-deadly temper tantrum because they lost. And now that it didn’t work, they want us to pretend everything in the last four years (and beyond) didn’t happen. So they play this game about wanting to come together. They say inane, hypocritical bullshit like “kindness 2020” and “agree to disagree.” As if we’re ever going to forget their behavior.

Some people may be willing to forgive for the sake of trying to move forward, but at this point even that may be impossible. If we want any sort of real change, we can’t continue to sweep things under the rug for the sake of “unity.” That’s just for optics, and that’s the frame of thinking we need to abandon — that it’s just easier to let them back into the fray instead of holding them accountable. No more.

If they truly want unity, they’re going to have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Words are no longer enough — it’s time for bold actions to prove themselves. They need to make it clear that they’re actually willing to actively do the work. To make the system more equitable and get rid of people who don’t share those values. And they’re never going to do that, so we need to stop the conversation before it goes any further and we waste any more of our precious time and resources. Many of us marginalized folks have no interest playing nice with people who deny our rights. Why should we be nice to people who’ve spent the last four years calling us things like “libtard,” “snowflake,” and various racial epithets? These are not kind people who want unity. They just don’t want to be held accountable for their actions or taken to task for their violence. We, especially marginalized people, do not owe them a damn thing.