Dallas Shooter Was Not Associated With BLM

Dallas Shooter Was Not Associated With BLM

Micah Johnson not only was not affiliated with BLM, he was "upset about" the group. Yet, some still use the falsity of Johnson's affiliation as criticism of the movement.
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A couple months ago I came across an article from The Virginian-Pilot describing Old Dominion University's football team's pre-game "Circle of Unity," a sort of less controversial, Kaepernick-kneel alternative to acknowledging recent police shootings in Charlotte, North Carolina and Tulsa, Oklahoma. It also described how some of the players wore Black Lives Matter t-shirts during a pre-game practice. Later in the article was a synopsis of BLM from conception up to the current state of the movement and the controversy surrounding it. The account was generally neutral, though one sentence stuck out, describing the fatal shooting of 5 police officers during a peaceful protest in Dallas, Texas.

Now, I never heard that Micah Johnson, the Dallas shooter, had supported Black Lives Matter. In fact, I knew he expressed disdain for BLM during his stand-off with the police. I did some digging to be sure but found no validity to this statement. Johnson was turned down from numerous Black Power groups for failing background checks. It would seem that (and this is absolute personal inference) BLM was a disappointment to Johnson for not being radical enough.

I looked up the author on twitter to ask him if he had a source.

Judging by the neutral voice of the Virginian-Pilot article, I do not assume this mistake was ill-intended, but simply a misremembering of the facts, or an embrace of what has been presented as fact by unscrupulous reporters in the mass media. I was disappointed that my correction went ignored, however, because these distinctions truly matter. That is not to say that it would be fair or reasonable to judge the entirety of BLM even if Johnson had been affiliated. But the truth is, we live in a country that is polarized on many meaningful issues, and outliers will always be reason enough for inciting further validation for one's convictions. I saw this inaccuracy on my feed frequently in the wake of this shooting.

I bring this up now in reaction to the vastly circulated Tomi Lahren interview which aired on the Daily Show on November 30. While pontificating about the supposed violent intentions of BLM, Lahren says of the Dallas shooting, "the shooter said he's doing this because of BLM." This is part of Lahren's justification for disgracefully labeling (oh, and she hates labels, by the way) of BLM as "the new KKK." Again, I could find no source for the claim. In a press conference, Dallas Chief of Police, David Brown, said "The suspect said he was upset about Black Lives Matter. He said he was upset about the recent police shootings. He was upset at white people. He wanted to kill white people, especially white officers."

Such an event is one difficult to revisit. However, given the broad embrace of this misinformation, it feels necessary. No part of me believes Lahren does not know the facts around this tragedy. She is blatantly exploiting the deaths of the officer's she claims to grieve, to further the misrepresentation of BLM. This is a dangerous narrative, and I feel it's important we understand the facts around the Dallas Shooting, as it is so easy for emotions to impede logic in interpreting such a traumatic situation.

Cover Image Credit: IOL

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.
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We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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Dear African-American Parents, You've Raised Some Strong Children

"Be bold. Be brave. Be beautiful. Be brilliant. Be (your) best." - Renée Watson

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I feel like I was lucky to be born in Black History Month. I mean, the culture, the new information that I discover, everything about Black History Month is my favorite. I also get to celebrate my mom (but when do I not celebrate her?) more than usual.

I've always looked up to my mother and it shows in how I act, speak, talk, walk, and write. She is a powerhouse and I know that she's tired, but I'd like to think of my brother and me being her motivation to keep pushing forward and not quitting. She's taught me more in 19 years than any textbook in school could have and she's taking on life, single and with her head held high because that's the type of woman she is. She's had to tackle raising my brother and me alone while helping us with homework, cheering us on at games and recitals, cooking our favorite meals, and putting us through college. She's superwoman in my eyes and I can only hope that I can be like this when I become a mother.

To all other African-American parents, you may not realize this, but you've raised some of the strongest children ever. You've given them reasons to stay in school and it's totally cliché, but you're the reason they want to buy their mother a new house or get their father a new truck. You're exposing them to the horrors of the world before the rest of society wakes up and sees the truth — it scares us at first, but you have to tell us otherwise we look stupid and you don't want your babies walking around with their heads down because they were unaware of the hatred that they had to endure because of a slight difference they have.

You made us understand that we should not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character and that we are not who society has stereotyped us to be. You've done an amazing job and I couldn't be any happier to be in such an amazing community.

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