Social workers should resist calls for “unity” and “reconciliation” at this fraught moment

January 14, 2021

No doubt hoping to reduce the misery attending the first days of his presidency, Joe Biden is optimistically pleading for bi-partisan “unity,” “reconciliation,” and “healing” in light of the botched January 6 insurrection by Trump’s cult followers.

He shouldn’t be, and social workers, despite their proclivity for the peaceful resolution of conflict, shouldn’t fall for a hopeless appeal to rapidly repair the nation’s political trauma. There’s no time for a detailed exposition of this assertion at the moment, but it comes down to this:

There’s no reconciling with white supremacy. There’s no reconciling with misogyny. There’s no reconciling with xenophobic scapegoating. There’s no reconciling with the violent intent to subvert democratic processes (however flawed) because of undesirable outcomes. There’s no reconciling with Big Lies endlessly repeated by an authoritarian cult leader. There’s no reconciling with murder. There just isn’t.

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