There is no disputing the effectiveness of the Trojan Horse tactic; The Greeks used this deception masterfully to infiltrate the unsuspecting city of Troy. As the city’s citizens gathered to celebrate their victory, the wooden horse burst open and masses of Greek warriors spilled out into a deadly rampage.
There is a modern day version of the trojan horse, and its name is unity.
Much like the citizens of Troy cheered and eagerly pulled that giant horse into its inner sanctum, Americans are lining up to do the same. Brimming with moral righteousness and the certainty of their superiority, they chant for unity louder and louder. Those who see the cracks and sense the danger point it out, only to be scornfully rebuked. The joke, it seems, is on them, for unlike those citizens of Troy, many Americans either remain convinced those cracks are illusions or simply don’t care when they see the danger those cracks reveal. So long as the spears of deceit are thrust into others, and not them, it is right.
Unity seems like a simple enough concept. Once upon a time this country experienced it, as the dust from the towers still swirled and we united against a common enemy. For a moment after the George Floyd incident, unity returned, as Americans again united against the brazen abuse of power and watched a suspect who had been subdued and posed no further threat be murdered.
But unity is the last thing those who seek to destroy our country from within want, and the narrative was quickly manipulated to serve as a spear that pierced right through our country.
The cry of unity has now become a mantra – but is it sincere?
How can a person be sincere about wanting to help unify our country, when open season has been declared on half of its citizens? When millions of people celebrate the censorship of a president half the country continues to stand by, that does not feel like unity. When powerful media outlets call to burn down the Republican Party and representatives call to shun Trump’s Cabinet members, that does not sound unifying. When any attempt to express dissenting views is met with insults, threats, and shaming, that does not seem unifying, and when half the country is repeatedly told to sit down and shut up, that does not sound unifying.
Last week hundreds of thousands of Americans exercised our Constitutional rights and gathered to protest the election results. We stood and mingled for hours in increasingly colder temperatures, peacefully meeting new people and talking about current events. We talked about true unity and what it means to us.
We watched in just as much shock and dismay as the rest of America, as a wave of people from that crowd assaulted Capitol Police and climbed up walls or stairs to the building. We ducked down as the wind swept tear gas our way, and we flinched each time a flashbang went off. When we realized what was happening inside the building, we left, walking slowly down streets alive with sirens and stunned faces.
Imagine our surprise when the Speaker of the House, who has climbed her way into being one of the most powerful people in America, and who commands absolute authority over her underlings, openly denounced us all for “choosing our White Supremacy over democracy.” Imagine our struggle to believe her calls for unity are sincere.
So long as real issues like racism and unity are weaponized for political gain, America will never be united. So long as justice is so unequally called for among our citizens and especially among our elected representatives, America will never be unified.
It doesn’t feel as if the goal is unity, after all. Rather, it feels as if the goal is conformity and compliance. It’s okay if we look and love differently, but we are to think one way, speak one way, submit one way, and surrender our freedoms on demand. Independent thinking and individual values are not to be permitted under this form of “unity.”
Abraham Lincoln was right when he said “United we stand divided we fall.” It’s unlikely he ever envisioned those words being used as a battle plan to destroy the country he gave his own life for.