“If we don’t love another, this separatism, this cancer will kill our body” — Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, speaking during Dallas vigil around 12:40 pm Central.
I learned about the Dallas shootings just after the 7pm all-media Ghostbusters screening. A sniper shooting cops. More than one shooter? Apparently not. Three cops dead, then four, then five. Right away I strongly suspected why the shootings had occured — instinctual, rash, mad-dog revenge for the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of policemen. Hate begets hate. But I said nothing. If you say anything the least bit incisive in the wake of this kind of nightmare, the twitter dogs will pounce.
Somebody tweeted this morning that the atmosphere in the country is starting to feel like 1968.
I took a walk around WeHo around 10:15 pm or so. Thinking about it, thinking about it. The very high likelihood of a revenge motive, hours after the deaths of Sterling and Castile, obviously suggested a loose-cannon, hair-trigger mentality. I mentioned the analogy of Sonny Corleone — hot-tempered, fly off the handle, blood for blood, exacerbating, making things ten times worse. You wouldn’t believe how bone-stupid some of the responses were.
Inflammatory headlines began to pop — N.Y. Post, Drudge Report, TheWrap. Then the cops got the shooter — Micah Xavier Johnson, a 25 year-old ex-military guy from Mesquite, Texas. Exploded to death with a robot bomb. Then this morning’s press conference featuring the Dallas Police Chief. Then the Dallas vigil.
Since Obama’s election in ’08 white hinterlanders have become increasingly freaked about the changing power dynamic in this country, a gun-clinging Alamo mentality, fearful of the ebbing of that white-dominated country they grew up with. The “bad” cops (10 or 15% of a typical big-city police force?) are part of this fraternity, and this, no question, is an underlying factor in at least some of these police shootings of black guys.
The only thing to say…I don’t know what to say. I think we all understand that it’s important right now to just back off, turn it down, let things settle and hold hands during any and all opportunities.