First and foremost our thoughts and prayers are with the families and comrades of the police officers who lost their lives in Dallas, Texas,as well as though who were injured and whose lives will certainly never be the same. Our hearts are also mourning with the families of the two men whose lives were also lost this week in other senseless acts of violence.
I had this week’s article all ready to go. It was approximately an 1,000 word rant about the injustice and partiality being displayed in our country in regard to the announcement that there would be no charges filed against Hillary Clinton in her “mishandling” of classified information. I had done research and was prepared to share with you, the readers, a host of other examples where individuals were found guilty of offenses of much lesser degrees regarding classified information and were stripped of their offices and their careers ending abruptly.
I hate to rant. Truly. But this, it was rant-worthy. I had made a strong and valid case and I was counting the moments until my plethora of zingers would go live. "So there, take that Hillary," I thought defiantly. But then, something happened. Tragedy struck. Lives were lost, senselessly. What started out as a fairly “normal” week has ended in a flood of calamity. The week following our nation celebrating its independence has been anything but peaceful.
This Friday morning, I woke to news coverage of police officers being lined up outside of Baylor University Hospital in Dallas, Texas where many of the wounded officers had been transported. These officers were now waiting for the bodies of their fallen comrades to be moved to the city morgue. They are standing at attention, exhausted, weeping, stoic and saluting their fallen comrades whose lives were taken from them that night, Thursday, July 7, as they patrolled during a protest. There were 11 other officers who were wounded, some of them critically. These police officers were ambushed by possibly as many as two to four snipers who had taken up an elevated position and these officers were targets and had no idea.
(After further investigation, it is now believed that this attack was the act of a lone gunman).
At the writing of this article, there is still limited information being released about the victims of this shooting, which has been the greatest loss of life to law enforcement in the United States since September 11, 2001. One of the victims was said to have been serving in the military reserves. He trained police officers in Afghanistan, and had married a fellow officer just two weeks ago. He was 43 years old. Officers were outgunned; they were shot in the back. They were white. This was a violent act of retaliation. They were out there on the streets of Dallas, Texas protecting the very individuals who wanted them dead.
There were two other lives that were tragically lost this week in this nation, Alton Sterling of Louisiana, and Philando Castile of Minnesota. Both black men, both men that should still be alive today. Videos of both of these killings have been circulating on social media, stoking the fires of hate and anger. Regardless of the pasts of both of these men, it must be said that their deaths were unnecessary. Sterling was shot repeatedly at point blank range as he was being held against the pavement and an onlooker shouted “He has a gun!” Castile was shot and killed after disclosing to officers that he had a firearm, a firearm that he had a permit for, allowing him to carry.
As I have been reading these articles on social media, most from renowned media outlets, I have felt so many emotions. Disappointment, anger, sadness, fear and compassion. These events make us feel together as a nation. While many argue to justify the actions of the officers against these men, it is irrelevant. These murders, the deaths of both Sterling and Castile were nothing more than modern day lynchings and the killings spawned nationwide protests.
Fast forward less than 24 hours. White police officers found themselves in the crosshairs of sniper fire as they were present at a protest in Dallas, Texas. There were also protests taking place in New York City, Boston and Washington D.C. in response to this week’s events. These officers in Dallas were there to protect the very ones who wished to do them harm for transgressions carried out by members of law enforcement states away. They were targeted for their profession, their skin color, and out of vengeance. These protestors were demanding police accountability. These police officers were there to allow them to have this protest, peaceably, as is their constitutional right.
Readers, this isn’t a race issue. This isn’t a gun control issue. Don’t listen to the political propaganda that is telling you otherwise. People are being gunned down in droves in Chicago, and that city has some of the toughest gun regulations in the nation. This is a heart issue, a respect issue. We have become cold to one another with many no longer having any respect for human life. Media headlines reiterate that on a daily basis.
There is little to no regard for human life. The loss of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were tragic, but the officers in Dallas, Texas were not the same officers who perpetuated these murders. One black criminal does not make ALL blacks criminals. One white mass shooter does not make ALL whites mass shooters. This is not a race issue, it is a heart issue. This is about lack of community, lack of love and respect for one another. Come on America! We are better than this. Where did the love go? Black lives do matter. Most important, ALL lives matter. Period. It is time for us to stand together and stop this run-away train that we are on.
Here’s an idea, although not a popular one, let’s return to the principles that this nation was founded on. Our founding fathers believed that faith was a necessary foundation for the United States of America. In the book of II Chronicles 7:14 of Biblical Scripture it reads, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We have the freedom to believe or not believe however we choose. I respect that. But desperate times call for desperate measures and these are desperate times.
If you can no longer see the good in our country, or see the good in others then you know what, BE THE GOOD!
Again, our hearts go out to all of those affected by the tragic and senseless losses perpetuated by violence in our nation this week.