This One Tweet About The Dallas Shooting Makes An Important Point About Race That We Need To Hear
In a shocking turn of events, there was an unexpected shooting in downtown Dallas at a Black Lives Matter protest on Thursday evening. Hundreds gathered to exercise their First Amendment right and speak out against the senseless murders of black individuals at the hands of police officers in the United States. While these killings often bring up difficult, but important conversations about race and race relations, they often become divisive and pit one racial group against another. This one tweet about the Dallas shooting made an important point about race that we need to hear.
This week has been particularly trying on the nation as we learned the news of countless police-involved murders against black men around the country. Of course, this is nothing new: The Washington Post reported that there have been 123 black men killed by police in 2016. These unjust killings undoubtedly anger and frustrate the black community everywhere, as well as their allies, especially when they happen all too frequently. Just this week alone we lost two black men in a span of less than 24 hours when Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were fatally shot by police officers on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Protests were organized for Thursday around the country to speak out against these instances (and previous ones) of senseless police violence against black people. But it is important to remember that these isolated incidents should not automatically pit the entire white race against the entire black race, which, unfortunately, seems to happen in frustrated discussions of these events. That's why this one powerful tweet about the Dallas shooting is so important to remember in these moments.
As Bryan Hill put it, "Some people want more hate," and that's exactly what happened Thursday night during the Dallas protest when a clearly planned attack on law enforcement took place. The Black Lives Matter protest was organized to give a voice to those who don't have one; the protest was intended to be a peaceful demonstration; the protest should have been an opportunity to unite the community members who were hurting after Sterling and Castile's murders, as well as those police officers who volunteered their time to protect and serve the protest attendees.
Instead, multiple shooters carried out an attack against the entire Dallas Police Department (DPD) in what was presumably a fight for vengeance in the aftermath of Sterling and Castile's deaths. But this was a clear of example of hate breeding hate, and the tragic shooting of 11 police officers was an intentional way to further divide two groups of people.
The attack on the Dallas Police Department was the deadliest attack against law enforcement since the Sept. 11 attacks. This harrowing statistic reminds us that, yes, some police officers have acted unjustly against black Americans for unfair reasons, but that, at times, senseless gun violence seriously affects law enforcement, too.
"Words matter. Leadership matters. I'm proud of our Chief," Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said in a press conference earlier Thursday evening. In a time when racial tensions are high, Hill's tweet about the Dallas shooting made a poignant observation that Mayor Rawlings and DPD Chief David Brown didn't let these racial issues get in the way of working together to make sure everyone in their community was safe.
It's definitely not easy to come together and work toward a collective goal when both sides are feeling oppressed and attacked by the other. However, the united front displayed by Chief Brown and Mayor Rowlings was a refreshing view in a time when it often feels like society as we know it is falling apart.