Biden started it. Organizing his campaign around the need and his ability to “heal the divisions” which have festered in our country over the last four years, if not longer. And, my hunch is that in most Christian worship services this morning and maybe in most Shabbat services or Evening Prayers on Friday, the idea of healing found its way to lips of clergy and the hearts and minds of those who listened to them. It certainly did in the worship service I listened to this morning. Republican lawmakers and leaders have joined the chorus asking Democratic lawmakers and leaders not to proceed with an impeachment vote against the President for the sake of healing.
Here is what troubles me about our desire for and the way we seem to be talking about healing.
It sounds to me our definition of healing and means to forget and to move on.
To forget that six people have died as a result of what happened on January 6th.
To forget that a noose, calling to mind countless years of lynching, was hung outside the Capital.
To forget that a Confederate flag was carried through the Rotunda and that someone who stormed the Capital wore a Camp Auschwitz shirt and that others wore or carried other racist and anti-semitic symbols.
Instead of forgetting, I think the opposite is needed.
I think we need to remember.
We need to remember what it looked like.
We need to remember what it sounded like.
We need to remember the rhetoric and lies which added fuel to the fire.
We need to remember the rage.
We need to remember what we felt while watching.
We need to remember the fear.
We need to remember the grief of those who have lost loved ones.
We need to remember all that and more.
And, if there is to be healing, there must also be responsibility.
Responsibility taken for their part and our part in what happened.
Those who were silent because it was politically expedient need to take responsibility.
Those who, by their words and actions, added to the distrust and the lies need to take responsibility.
Those who participated need to take responsibility.
And, you and I (at least those of us who are white) need to take responsibility.
We need to own up to our privilege, and what that has meant and what that has cost.
We need to own up to the subtle and structural ways others are held down or pushed aside.
We need, all of us, to own up to our own tribalism.
Our own distrust of those who look different or sound different.
And, we need to own up to our desire for an easy way out.
When the only way out is through the shards of what has been broken.
And will require of us hard work.
And living, for a while, with a deep discomfort and sense of dis-ease.