More concern is rising in America this morning as reports toll of an armed masked man being seen entering Dallas Police Headquarters following a threat to kill cops. How it unfolds will no doubt make the next few hours of media. In the meantime we need to talk…
— Jeff Paul (@Jeff_Journalist) July 9, 2016
We’ve all been watching in horror as the last week of tragedy in the US has unfolded between the police and “black people”. Even the media is starting to question the actions of both sides as deaths mount in the police force and among black people who have done no wrong.
Even the traditional media, the bastion of the right wing, white man is starting to ask hard questions we haven’t seen before like the headline seen on Thursday of “Would this have happened if the driver were white?”.
The headline of the New York Times, a traditional newspaper, showed the depth of despair people across the world felt on the shooting of Philando Castile earlier this week while his girlfriend and her four year old child watched and even filmed what all could see was that of any honest citizen being pulled over in a gun-carrying town and wanting to do what he was asked.
Two black men died last week, shot fatally by police in America, and anti police protests have been on the rise ever since. Then friday night five Dallas police officers were killed in a sniper attack in retaliation, media reports say. What was meant to be a peaceful protest to bring to the public’s attention the importance of black lives, was turned into a global spectacle as a heavily armed sniper gunned down police officers in downtown Dallas, leaving five officers dead. Word is that he set out to kill as many white police officers as he could. The New York Times says the sniper was a military veteran who had served in Afghanistan, and kept an arsenal in his home that included bomb-making materials.
The gunman turned a demonstration against fatal police shootings this week of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana from a peaceful march focused on violence committed by officers into a scene of chaos and bloodshed aimed against them. All of us are now wondering where it goes next.
Seven other police officers and two civillians were wounded in the incident, and 12 officers returned fire, creating a texas gun battle that went for many hundreds of metres. Not exactly the sort of happening any nation wants in their society. The sniper then claimed to have explosives rigged up, and threatened to kill more officers, holding the police in angst for hours after the shooting before they killed him using a robot that delivered an explosive.
He said throughout the standoff that he was fighting for “black lives matter” and was “upset about the recent police shootings”. He said he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers.
It has thrown American into a sea of pain, some of it irreverseable. The gun-carrying nation turned 240 last week and yet is mired with fear of what this disunity can do to its society right now and politicans like .
We’ve seen two years of protests around the USA against deaths in police custody. It has deeply divided public, political and media opinion. One thing no one is sure of is how to stop it in a country where the NRA control the purse strings of so many politicians.
As recently as today, the National Rifle Association has reinforced their message across the US that, “an armed society is a polite society.” It’s a phrase borrowed from sci-fi author Robert Heinlein, and fronts the N.R.A.’s most popular T-shirts, which bears the word “coexist,” spelled out in brightly coloured ammo cartridges and guns. The shirt ($17.99), the N.R.A. store says that Heinlein’s quote “emphasizes the independent, tolerant nature of gun owners in a fun and thought-provoking way.”
Can the country change with will or will it take the world of pain to change them? Let’s talk about it today.