Big “D”, little “a”, double “L” – a – s. Dallas, Dallas, Dallas, another notch in your gun belt this week; more snipers take a shot at our ability to wage peaceful parades and protests while the face of violence lights up within your city limits. Shades of 1963 when you were the harbinger of our national nightmares to come.
I am outraged at the environment of fear and desperation that leads men to believe that shooting each other with guns or blowing up each other with bombs is the only solution to our problems within our borders and across the pond. Prejudices over skin color and religious practices cross oceans, span continents and land right at our doorsteps. And since we have the right to bear arms, we also have the right to shoot them – at each other.
Policemen who are sworn to protect us become caught up in a kind of madness that makes them so suspicious and fearful of people of color that even routine traffic violations can turn into scenes of degradation and death. Lives are changed forever – death is permanent – there is no taking back the gunfire that kills an innocent man or woman: no do-overs. And it’s not just that one life taken. The ripple effect in the lives of families and friends is also never-ending.
Take Back the Night? Hardly bold enough. Give Back the Light, I say. Give back the light of acceptance of citizens regardless of race or who they love or where they worship, but without apathy toward those who struggle with less. Acceptance without apathy – do we have leaders capable of recognizing the reality of the feelings of Powerlessness that drive men to fire gunshots against the Powerful…I wonder. And can the Powerful be changed to look beyond the obvious to the pain below the surface…I wonder.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God, Jesus said in his sermon on the mount. I am looking for the peacemakers, I am waiting for the peacemakers, I am hoping that they find their way to Dallas, Texas tonight.
Otherwise, I give up.