JULY 8, 2016
I just can’t.
Movies can wait till next week. Donald Trump’s antics can wait till hell freezes over. I’m just shaken this morning with a profound sense of sadness. And helplessness.
Why does this keep happening? It seems that a week doesn’t go by recently without some deranged nut shooting up a church, a kindergarten, a movie theater and most recently a dance club. It’s become as regular a feature on TV news as the sports scores or weather reports.
But this week felt different.
That’s probably because of the added element of the race of the perpetrators and victims. Baton Rouge on Tuesday. Minneapolis on Wednesday. And finally Dallas on Thursday.
The cellphone images of both the Louisiana and Minnesota shootings by a white police officer holding a gun on an African-American male (neither of whom were brandishing a weapon), then summarily executing them (there’s no other word to call it), shocked and horrified a nation.
That shock manifested itself in hopeful images early Thursday evening of tens of thousands of Americans of all ages and races coming together to take to city streets from New York to Los Angeles (and, yes, Dallas) to protest the violence. I was following the marches on social media and was particularly touched by a photo of an African-American marcher with a “No justice, no peace” sign flanked by two Dallas cops (one black, one white). They were all smiling with their arms around one another. “That’s the way it should be,” I thought. How haunting that photo became just a few hours later.
By now you know how the Dallas police, who were there to protect the marchers, suddenly became the targets of violence themselves at the hands of a sniper, who assassinated five officers (again, there’s no other word for it) and injured seven more.
That makes seven people killed this week who were alive just last weekend.
I shudder when I think about how, over the next few days, politicos are going to twist these tragedies for their own political advantage. (It’s started already.) We’re going to have the same “gun control vs. 2nd Amendment rights” debates that we always have, and that will go on and on until the next massacre. And we all know it’s just a matter of time before the next one happens.
And despite all the #thoughtsandprayers that members of Congress will offer, nothing in the end will change.
That’s why I feel so sad this morning. And so very very helpless.