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Cecil Whig - - OPINION -

To the seem­ingly end­less amount of vi­o­lence plagu­ing our na­tion and world. Last week, an Army vet­eran opened fire on po­lice of­fi­cers who were es­cort­ing a peace­ful protest through down­town Dal­las, killing of­fi­cers and wound­ing more. Later in­ves­ti­ga­tions and con­ver­sa­tions with the gun­man be­fore he was killed found that he was up­set over the re­cent deaths of black men by white po­lice of­fi­cers and sought to ex­tract re­venge. Then on Thurs­day evening, a truck plowed into a large crowd watch­ing the an­nual Bastille Day fire­works in Nice, France, and its driv­ers later opened fire on the crowd. As of press time, of­fi­cials in France be­lieved more than 70 were dead as a re­sult of the at­tack and more than 100 were wounded. Bastille Day, which com­mem­o­rates the Storm­ing of the Bastille dur­ing the French Rev­o­lu­tion, is kind of like the French ver­sion of our In­de­pen­dence Day. The thought of such car­nage on such a joy­ous oc­ca­sion is heart-wrench­ing. As the gun­men were shot dead, it was not im­me­di­ately clear if ISIS was again behind the at­tack in France, af­ter the rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ist group launched co­or­di­nated at­tacks in Novem­ber. Both the Dal­las and Nice at­tacks are un­set­tling re­minders that it feels as if our world is more un­set­tled ev­ery day.

To a new poll that found Amer­i­cans be­lieve race re­la­tions are at their worst point since the 1992 ri­ots dur­ing the Rod­ney King trial. Sixty-nine per­cent of Amer­i­cans say race re­la­tions are gen­er­ally bad, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll, con­ducted from Fri­day, the day af­ter the killing of five Dal­las po­lice of­fi­cers, un­til Tues­day, found that six in 10 Amer­i­cans say race re­la­tions were grow­ing worse, up from 38 per­cent a year ago, the New York Times re­ported. Re­la­tions between black Amer­i­cans and the po­lice have be­come so brit­tle that more than half of black peo­ple say they were not sur­prised by the at­tack. Nearly half of white Amer­i­cans say that they, too, were un­sur­prised by the episode, the sur­vey found. Black and white Amer­i­cans are also deeply di­vided about whether po­lice in most com­mu­ni­ties are more likely to use deadly force against a black per­son than a white per­son. Un­for­tu­nately, it seems that our coun­try’s lead­er­ship isn’t do­ing enough to pull us back to­gether and we hope that more step up to do just that.

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