The unity panacea won’t cut it this time


I toyed with starting this letter with just “XXXX” and dispensing with your name or any clever, mocking labels but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I actually wrote it out and started to say something about the choice, but I decided it would be too similar to what you’ve done to so many of us for so long, and what you’ve encouraged your base to do to so many of us for so long – dehumanize, other, objectify.

I’m beyond weary of and fed up with all the urging for those of us who identify as liberal to be and understanding, to have compassion for all those poor, forgotten Americans who f***ing glommed onto you as their lifeline. I know this is not anything new or insightful, but it feels beyond unfair that I should have to take the high road and empathize with people who don’t want me to be able to be married to Laura, who would like to fire me because of my sexual orientation, who think it’s perfectly fine to disenfranchise Black and Brown voters, and who refuse to see how their own White wealth has been propped up by the deep, wide systemic racism (and misogyny) that undergirds all of American society.

And you all are trying to gaslight us with more of this crazy bullshit even now – ‘oh, we just need to be unified and move on’  — as though last week’s coup attempts were just trivial little matters that are over and should be relegated to our rearview mirrors. It’s beyond lame that this is the only objection that the GOPP has really come up with against the plan to bring a second impeachment proceeding against you – that it would further divide the country. Seriously? It’s way the hell too late for that. The unity panacea is so misplaced as to be laughable.

How is it that when the harsh spotlight is in your all’s eyes and you’ve been caught in the act – again – that you think you can just sing the unity song and dance away from any consequences? Is it that this is what you all have learned over the years and years? Have we taught you that we’ll dig up compassion and strive for understanding for how you got to be so hateful, that we’ll run the news stories about how ordinary you all really are, that we’ll turn the other cheek over and over and over and we won’t ever ask you to turn yours or demand that you f***ing try to understand us for once, that you summon some compassion for us for once?

Yesterday our pastor preached on the first five chapters of Genesis where God separates the light from the dark. She eloquently urged us to see this as a time to understand that certain attitudes, beliefs, decisions, and actions are absolutely not ok and that we shouldn’t waste our energy and time trying to understand those who harbor them and enact them. She urged us to move through the world with integrity and dignity and continue to try to set good examples, but not to waste our precious, limited resources grappling with what is driving all this hate.

So no, I’m not going to stoop to dehumanizing you or your followers – you all may be operating from the primitive lizard brain parts of your systems but you are very, very human. Instead, I will continue to aspire to believe A. R. Moxon’s (aka Julius Goat) proposition that “Every human being is a unique and irreplaceable work of art carrying intrinsic and unsurpassable worth.” I can’t honestly say I believe that right now, but I’m an irreplaceable work of art in progress…..

May we safeguard our integrity and humanity.
May we be willing to change the rules of this game because they aren’t working.
May we be strong and forthright about our limits.
May we accept the discomfort of not reflexively summoning unearned, unreciprocated empathy.

Tracy Simpson

*GOPP = Grand Old Pathetic Party

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