“Vindicate me, God,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in God
and have not faltered.”
– Psalm 26:1
Forty-five consistently vows to “Make America Great Again.” For him, this means putting children in cages, calling white supremacists “very fine people,” and supporting a Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault.
Rightfully, people seek to denounce the atrocities of his administration.
Progressives often do so in a way that denies responsibility for 45 being in office and any policies that come from his administration. They use phrases on social media like “This is not us” and “This is not normal.”
When I see a “good progressive” use those phrases, I cringe.
Because no matter how progressive we are, 45 is us and we are him.
He may be an extremist, but his brands of nationalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy are things we all uphold in some way every day.
Yes, even you. Yes, even me. Yes, even the good progressive.
Every time we use phrases like “This is not us,” we miss a chance to repent for the ways we’ve upheld systems that embolden unapologetic white supremacy at the White House.
Every time we use phrases like “This is not normal,” we erase the reality that oppression in America has been a norm that many people ignored until the 2016 election.
We cannot change a country—or transform ourselves—with a posture of finger-pointing and blamelessness.
Instead, we must acknowledge that our collective complicity has created this political landscape, and only a collective fight for liberation can set us free.
Dear God—I want accountable vindication. Forgive me for the times I’ve been complicit with harm and be with me as I choose another way. Amen.
Marchaé Grair is the Director of Public Relations and Outreach for the Unitarian Universalist Association and a member of South Euclid United Church of Christ, South Euclid, Ohio.