At 10 pm yesterday, I got an alert from Fox News. There was a shooting in Dallas, and it was live. I instantly turned on the TV.
In the last two days, two African American men– Alton Sterling and Philando Castile– were shot and killed by police. This sparked outrage by many people– more black men had been killed by police.
Yesterday, peaceful protests happened in throughout cities like Charlotte, New York, and Dallas. During the protest in Dallas, shots were fired and it was announced that police were down. Live video feeds captured moments of gun shots, fear, and even a police officer being killed by the attacker. At the end of the night, 5 police officers were confirmed dead.
I am heartbroken for our country.
Social media is wonderful thing. It gives us breaking news in real time and allows us to interact quickly with those across the globe. However, it also gives people the unfiltered ability to tweet things in the moment while we’re filled with deep emotions.
Some people on social media were proud that policemen had been shot and killed. Some people on social media blamed the NRA or President Obama. Some people on social media wanted to jump to the conclusion that it was a black lives matter activist who killed the officers. Some people on social media jumped to the conclusion that the two black men that were shot must have been thugs.
With all that said, today is not a day for politics. This shooting is not the NRA’s fault. This shooting is not President Obama’s fault.
Police officers run towards danger each and every day for all of us. They make tough sacrifices for us. Today, five of them don’t get to return to their families because of senseless violence.
The same is true of two black men with families of their own. They will never get to speak with or embrace their loved ones again. It is unthinkable to contemplate that a 4-year-old girl had to witness the death of her father and comfort her mom as he was dying.
The protesters in Dallas last night were peaceful. The police in Dallas were standing by their side, protecting them. That is beautiful thing. That is the way forward.
My hope and prayer is that we find solutions, that we find ways to rebuild trust, and that we unite behind our shared values.
Killing one another is not the answer.
Today is not for politics. It is for praying without ceasing, crying with our brothers and sisters, and trying to do better starting with ourselves. Let our words, actions, tweets, and lives speak compassion and understanding.
I am heartbroken by deaths of my African American brothers killed by the police and heartbroken by the deaths of the men who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty killed by a radical assassin.