The New York Times published an article on Thursday amplifying the calls of people who think President Joe Biden’s plan for unity needs to include “healing [that] requires holding perpetrators accountable.”
“Mr. Biden should not pitch unity to those who oppose shared political power, they say, but should unite the country in defeating those who stand in the way,” the author wrote. Using interviews with some of the civil rights activists involved in the 2017 Charlottesville riots, the article promotes the idea that Biden should “go beyond seeing unity as the ultimate political goal and prioritize a sense of justice that uplifts the historically marginalized.”
“Unity follows justice,” one of the interviewees stated.
The article then continued to explain and give a voice to the protesters who believe unity is not feasible with people who support President Donald Trump.
“We have a whole major political party that, too large of a section of it, supports undemocratic practices, voter suppression, and the coddling of these conspiracy theories,” Dr. Jalane Schmidt, an activist and professor at the University of Virginia, told the Times. “So healing? Unity? You can’t do that with people who don’t adhere to basic democratic principles.”
“Unity is not uniformity, and unity is not without accountability,” a local reverend added. “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.”
The author continued to carry this narrative, writing that the activists’ words should “challenge Mr. Biden, Democrats and the country to see this month’s attack at the Capitol not as an isolated riot inspired by a divisive president, but as the latest flashpoint in a longer civil rights struggle that threatens the nation’s core values.”
The underlying issue with Biden’s so-called unity, the interviewees overwhelmingly claimed, is the opposition from others to their efforts to push a racial agenda. The only solution, they continued, is to discipline any dissenters.
“For them, this year’s mob violence took aim at the peaceful transfer of presidential power, but it’s the broader transfer of democratic power — from a largely white America to a rising multicultural coalition — that is testing the nation,” the author concluded.
These words echo the sentiments reflected in Biden’s inauguration speech, where, shortly after calling for a united nation, he lobbed accusations at Trump supporters, employing language such as “political extremism, white supremacy,” and “domestic terrorism.”