Thursday, July 14, 2016

"This is not a race war; it is a war against injustice."

The morning after last week's killing of Dallas police officers, the headline in the sensationalizing New York Post proclaimed in big, bold letters:  "CIVIL WAR," which was clearly a dog whistle for 'Race War."  Irresponsible people, like Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and former New York mayor Rudi Guiliani incorrectly identified and blamed the Black Lives Matter movement for inciting violence and a "war on police."

That is simply not true.  The Washington Post, among others, has pointed out that 2015 saw the second lowest number of murdered police officers in decades.   And Huffington Post's Zeba Blay emphasized that "war" is the wrong term anyway.
"Black people asking not to be shot for simply existing is not 'war.'   Black people assembling to protest their senseless killing is not 'war. There may be rage involved, fury, but to stand up for ones' rights is not an act of violenceit’s an act of revolution against an oppressive system. . . .  

'War' implies separate aggressors coming to blows so that only one may reign supreme.  And “war” . . . in an angry Facebook post by someone condemning black people for the officers’ deaths, implies that in the end only one side can actually remain.  That is terrifying. That is un-American.   And to use that word is to potentially incite only more violence and misunderstanding.
"What happened in Dallas is not . . . . acceptable.  It is a true tragedy in its own right.  It is representative of the deep wounds and the work that must be done to save the soul of this country.  But it is not a declaration of 'war. It does not speak for Trayvon Martin, or Michael Brown, or Tamir Rice, or Sandra Bland, or Alton Sterling, or Philando Castile, or countless others.  To insinuate that it does is to miss the point entirely.

"To insinuate that black people are actually rooting for the deaths of police officers is downright vile.  These attacks should not be used as justification to condemn black people for speaking out against police brutality. That does nothing to heal those woundsit merely deepens them."
Well, yes, one angry, perhaps deranged, young black man did plot an attack on white police -- and he killed five of them.   But he was not part of Black Lives Matter or any other activist group that we know of.   He is not representative of those who are peacefully protesting.   We need to be supporting them, not blaming them for the terrible acts of a single, lone wolf hater.

Just stop this divisive rhetoric, Dan Patrick and Rudi Guiliani -- and anyone else.   Those who are angry at the policejoin the peaceful protest, don't take up guns.   And police departments:   don't take up military war gear at a peaceful rally.   Both extremes only foment deeper divides and more rage.


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