"The benefits and possibilities that are created created by being personally accountable are countless." Jay Fiset
Accountability is truth actualized. Calls for unity without amends are inauthentic means of gaslighting, silencing, and minimizing harm. We cannot and should not move forward on any scale without the necessary recognition of all that has transpired. It's dangerous for all involved. Those that have caused harm continue aloof as to how they have caused harm for others and will continue to do so, or never take the opportunity to hold themselves accountable to responsibly own their "stuff." For those that are most directly impacted it's a questioning of sanity to even wonder if all that was experienced, felt, etc. was even real. It's a gutting discarding of truth in favor of prioritizing false comfort. People have to be uncomfortable. Harm has been caused. Pain has been given out. Violence in its forms has been perpetrated.
There's no real path forward without the purposeful pause to take stock, catch up on realizations, share a truth, and commit to community. How can people trust one another when the harm that has been caused is blatantly ignored. It's knocking down a tower of blocks and then asking the person whose towers have been destroyed why they are not further along. It's pretending things are alright when the tension is apparent. It's expecting people to be okay, buddy buddy, friendly even without recognition of what happened. Some things we can get over. Some things are accidental. Some things are little mistakes. Other things are big harms. Some things get people seriously injured or killed. Some things change people's lives in drastic. There can be not unity without a reckoning.
We are not meant to just trudge on. We're not meant to stifle our feelings. We're not just supposed to get over massive things - especially when others are involved. We owe people truth. It is the least we can do. We get to give them that comfort that what they experienced was real. People need to know they weren't imagining things, that they weren't overreacting, that what they felt was justified. In a world of unreasonableness, getting to confirm that yes people are reasonable in how they been impacted from the federal government, presidential administration, Senate wrangling, and Supreme Court adjudicating, all the way down to interpersonal relationships, harm, violence, slurs, policing, etc. is real. This applies less globally. We need to pause to repair community.
We would not continue to fly in a hot air balloon if there was a gaping hole cause by passengers in the basket. Two things need to occur. The hole has to be repaired, and those that caused the hole need to realize the impact of what they did, and to learn how to behave differently for it to not be a continued problem. Often separating the deed from the doer, in an of itself a helpful distinction to avoid reductive absolutism, gets decontextualized to divorce people from they have caused. We have to name actors. Sometimes specific people are implicated, and that's okay. They need to be so they own what they did. We have to pause, bring people up to speed, and go forward together. We cannot push forward while others hold us back, or are unaware the full extent of the significance of their actions. It's the pausing that give us the moment of clarity, vulnerability, and space to arrive at a collective truth. Repairing harm is part of sustaining community. Justice is for community. Truth is for community. Community requires a shared set of norms, beliefs, reality, etc.