When the news keeps pounding like it has the past few weeks, we all seem to go into some sense of self-preservation. I know I have. I have been personally preoccupied with finishing the editing of The Tuning Slide book so it will be available for trumpet camp.I am getting near the final okay to print. (It better be soon- time is getting short.) I have also been working on a few other writing projects all of which has led me to more distraction than usual.
Then along came the deaths in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis. Before we even began to assimilate those there was the sniper killing 5 police officers in Dallas. I spent two days wanting to shout to anyone who would listen.
For. God's. Sake. Stop! Now!
I experienced the pain, starting with the fact that one of the deaths was in our Minnesota "backyard" and people I know knew someone who knew Philando. I heard the cries of law enforcement friends. Then I saw the reactions from Dallas, which, thankfully, began to turn the narrative in a different direction. While there were some highly one-sided posts, most were not. Most began to see the deadly insanity that is infecting so much of our thinking. Some pointed to the killer in Dallas as an example of the Black Lives Matter movement. Most saw him for what he was- another deranged individual, acting on his own as any of the number of serial killers have in the past years.
It didn't slow the anger of some in Minneapolis, but it did help the nation begin to deal with it. Former President Bush nailed it with his few but pointed words:
“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions.”People have tried to deepen divisions by trying to say things about Bush or Obama at the memorial service.
Why do we have to keep going there? Why does one have to be the good guy and the other the bad guy when they are standing there together? The partisanship goes on and on and on.
I don't want police officers to be in the kind of dangers they face.
I don't want African-Americans to be afraid if a police officer walks up the street toward them, let alone at a traffic stop.
I don't want police officers to be afraid of the African-American they are talking to.
I want both sides to talk and meet each other on equal grounds. I want both sides to be able to express their fears and frustrations without being told they are wrong. I want both sides- and all of us who support both sides- to celebrate that we are all Americans! Period! None better, none lesser. That's what we celebrated last week. Let's not leave it stuck there.