Calls For Hope And Healing In Speech,"
NPR reports. "Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot calls for return
to Sept. 11 unity," writes The Chicago Tribune. Following the 2014 Ferguson protests, a
CNN headline read, "Obama: Now is the time for peace,
healing." "Filmmaker Ken Burns aims for healing with new
documentary about Vietnam War," the San Diego Union-Tribune has told us. Everywhere we turn columnists, celebrities,
pundits, and politicians are insisting we have "unity," "come
together," promote "peace" and work to "heal the
its face these concepts sound fine enough: after all, who doesn’t
sounds great! Who wouldn't want
to "heal" our wounds? Wounds are bad! But in the majority of
political contexts, these warm and fuzzy buzzwords rush past the
messy and difficult work of justice, substantive change, or
reparations and get straight to the part where everyone just feels
good about themselves.
world where 2100 billionaires hoard more wealth than the 4.6
billion people who make up 60 percent of the planet’s population,
where billions live in abject poverty, what do concepts like
mean? After an administration
that has carried out deliberate policies of ethnic cleaning at the
U.S border, what does unity entail?
In a country that has leveled much of the Middle East, Korea,
Vietnam, and overthrown numerous democracies in Latin America, what
involve? Without concrete
policies of accountability, restitution, restoration and
reparation, squishy liberal notions of "unity" and "healing"
achieve little more than protecting the status quo.
isn’t a unique problem: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously
reminded white liberals that "True peace is not merely the absence
of tension: it is the presence of justice," a point he made
literally hundreds of times in his years of advocacy to a
handwringing media insisting everyone just calm down and go home
and let the lawyers at the Department of Justice take care of
Nevertheless the problem persist decades later: time
and again, before there's been any concrete changes, policy
proposals, or restitution to victims of injustice, those in power
evoke abstract notions of "healing," "unity" and "peace" to shut up
activists and act as of it the work is done right before pivoting
back to business as usual.
this week's episode we will examine the origins of the concepts of
"unity" as a political PR gambit, detail how concepts of "healing"
which can are very useful in grassroots and interpersonal
psychological contexts have been cynically appropriated by those in
power, and breakdown how media consumers can avoid the shallow
allure of "peace" and "unity" rhetoric in the face of routine,
everyday racism, violence, exploitation, and