July 08, 2016

Infamy in Dallas and an eye for an eye?


More here from Chief Brown and Mayor Rawlings.

In an apparent racist attack in response to deaths of blacks, usually just seconds after being taken into custody, by police officers, and possible racism by white officers involved with that, five Dallas-area police officers are dead, as is the suspect, in a quite premeditated attack on Dallas police patrolling a protest march last night. One suspect was killed by robotic bomb; three others are in custody, police say.

Several thoughts.

First, violence begets violence. Tevye knew that, and its ultimate result, in Fiddler on The Roof.

Villager, Tevye: 
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!" "Very good. That way, the whole world will be blind and toothless.
-Villager, Tevye


Doesn't matter who started it. Violence begets violence.

Second, please, no "prayers for." I have repeatedly said the same about fundamentalist and conservative evangelicals' reactions to places and events like Orlando. I say the same now to liberal interfaith ministers, some of whom may have been in last night's protest and who are planning a prayer event at noon.

Maybe, like Jews at Auschwitz, a few more Americans will start coming to the conclusion that .... nobody's listening, or maybe even that nobody's there to listen.

(Actually, not just Jews at Auschwitz. Most of Europe was almost as religious as the U.S. until World War II.)

Third, as the assassin (that's the right word, folks), showed, "reverse racism" is racism. Well-poisoning begets well-poisoning.

That includes inflammatory tabloid newspaper covers.

And, it also includes, even worse than GOP whackjobs politicizing this, the head of the National Association of Police Organizations arguably politicizing it even more (near bottom). And Bill Johnson then doubled down, accusing Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton of politicizing the Philando Castile shooting there — part of what was being the Dallas protest — by saying Castile might not have been shot if he were white.

(That said, things complicate a bit in the real world; the officer who shot Castile is Hispanic, not Anglo.)

NAPO itself is a puff-job outlet that represents less than one-fourth of the 1.1 million police officers nationally. It is also a wingnut among police organizations, especially compared to the mainstream Fraternal Order of Police and others.

Jim Pasco, head of FOP, in his comments, did accuse President Obama of a bit of pandering, but also admitted police aren't perfect, and, like Dallas' Chief Brown, that work must be done all around to fix the various divides. (The FOP isn't all roses, though.)

First, at least in my minds, the protests are anti BAD cop, not anti cop. Second, there is no civil war, at least not yet. Per Chief Brown, we need to stop the divide that's already there.

However, Chief Justice John Roberts, with:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Doesn't have the answer, either.

Something both simplistic and fatuous makes him part of the problem, not part of the solution. Legislation can't change hearts, but it can constrain outward actions.

The work stretching back to the 1950s and 1960s has plateaued. And blacks are also no longer America's largest racial minority. Per LBJ, we need to pick up that work again.

Per Chris Hedges (thanks, Brains) we must recognize that we have an "ossified" state. Sorry, Mr. Umpire in Chief, but them's the facts.

Fourth, stop with the conspiracy thinking as well as the prayers, whether claiming the assassin was white, or surely, as an Alex Jones type will say, that is was a police false flag, or that police used this as an excuse to shoot into the crowd. (There were many white people in the crowd, per video; a police sniper couldn't have picked out just blacks in a melee.)

I know that such small thoughts are a tiny minority, but we don't need them to get bigger.

As a former Metroplex resident, I say focus on how many police and protestors tried to help each other.

As a former Metroplex resident who marched there for gay rights events, ant-war protests when Shrub Bush and Darth Cheney were in town, protests outside eXXXon shareholder meetings and more, I don't appreciate anybody making my freedom of assembly more scary.

As for the infamy? It's the most police killed on one day since 9/11, and likely the most famous killing in Dallas since Nov. 22, 1963.

Finally, without denigrating Black Lives Matter, let's smell some coffee and note that at times in violence-ridden America, No Lives Matter, seemingly.

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