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Very fine people on both sides: The fallacy of forging political bipartisanship with White Supremacy

For months I have been hearing about pursuing a bipartisan America; about this nation needing to forge a new spirit of political collaboration if we ever hope to bridge the massive divides here. I’m tired of hearing that.

We all know how we got here. We have all lived through the past five years. We saw the “both sides” rhetoric in Charlottesville. We saw the George Floyd murder. We saw the violence against the BLM protests. We saw the support for Kyle Rittenhouse. We saw the conspiratorial pandemic denials. We saw the anti-mask defiance. We saw the legislative attacks during the election.

We saw the terrorism at the Capitol. We saw the lack of response by the Government. We can’t apologize for seeing it and we can’t be gaslit into thinking that we didn’t see it and we can’t be guilted into forgetting that we saw it.

The divides here in this country are not arbitrary and they are not meritless. They exist for a reason.

They are here because some of us simply refuse to tolerate racism and sedition and the systematic extermination of diversity here, and we need to remember that. This is not blind tribalism, this is our shared decency rejecting something so very indecent.
We need to stop talking about bipartisanism in America and start talking about humanity before it’s too late.

The idea of bipartisanship suggests that there are two very different but equally valid sides represented at a given moment. This is inaccurate in this version of America.

Knowingly perpetuating a dangerous lie of election fraud, is not a valid side. Fighting a thorough, objective examination of the deadly attack on Congress intended to overturn an election, is not a valid side. Legislatively cancelling the votes of people of color is not a valid side.

Justifying the murder of unarmed people of color by law enforcement, is not a valid side. Voting unanimously against COVID aid while opposing masks and vaccines in the wake of 500,000 deaths, is not a valid side. Taking away the rights of women to have autonomy over their own bodies, is not a valid side. Demanding that teachers no longer teach about racism in America, is not a valid side.

Elevating such positions by implying that they deserve an equal seat at the table is simply reckless. To claim a desire to work with the violent lunacy of Marjorie Taylor Greene or the nonsensical, ignorant gun lust of Lauren Boebert or the unabashed sedition of Josh Hawley or the blind obstructionism of Mitch McConnell — is at best disingenuous and at worst, moral complicity. Throughout our history there have been moments when unequivocal stands against an existential threat need to be made. That’s where America is right now.

For months, Democrats have been begging Republicans for a bipartisan investigation of the January 6th terrorist attack on the Capitol, and they have steadfastly refused. This is because the attack itself was partisan. That was the whole point: to overthrow democracy and deny the voice of the majority and silence an entire group of Americans.

Since the moment the halls of Congress were breached, Republicans have laughably declared the real culprits to be BLM, ANTIFA, and the “Radical Left.” If they really believed this to be true, they would be loudly demanding an investigation right now — but they are refusing it.

The only reason for a political party to resist documenting information about the Capitol attack, is because they planned, supported, participated in, and stood to benefit from it — period. Had the coup attempt been successful and the last guy was still president and Republicans now had the majority in Congress, do you really think they’d be talking about bipartisanship? Of course not.

There are no false equivalencies to be made here at this place and time in the history of this nation. This abomination of a political party is now nothing more than a death cult whose sole platform is appeasing, pleasing, and defending a wannabe despot. To elevate them to something worthy of partnership is political treason and theological heresy.

To entertain conspiracy or abide terrorism or enable bigotry in the name of some ceremonial both sides-ism makes a mockery of the costly battles so many vulnerable communities have fought before us, in order to make this a place where blind nationalism does not rule the day and where a minority of extremists cannot have their way.

I don’t care about bipartisanship, I care about protecting humanity. If the fight for that humanity places me on one side of a partisan political line, that likely points to the inhumanity on the other side of it.

I will not partner with terrorism and I refuse to make peace with white supremacy and I will not cooperate with fascists. I’m not apologizing for that and neither should the rest of us.

John Pavlovitz

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The original version of this Op Ed was published on johnpavlovitz.com

John Pavlovitz launched an online ministry to help connect people who want community, encouragement, and to grow spiritually. Individuals who want to support his work can sponsor his mission on Patreon, and help the very real pastoral missionary expand its impact in the world.

About The Author

John Pavlovitz

John Pavlovitz is a 20-year ministry veteran trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus, both online in this global community.