Mas­sacre can’t be pinned on any group

Chicago Sun-Times - - OPINION - BY RICHARD PARKER Richard Parker is an au­thor and jour­nal­ist. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @richard­park­ertx. Reprinted with per­mis­sion from the Dal­las Morn­ing News.

DAL­LAS — “Words mat­ter, lead­er­ship mat­ters at this time.” Of all the words that will be spilled on this tragedy in our city, Dal­las, no truer will be ut­tered than those of Mike Rawl­ings, the con­fi­dent, for­mer CEO-turned shell­shock mayor of a griev­ing city.

This was not a mass shoot­ing. It was a mas­sacre. Dat­ing from the 17th cen­tury, mas­sacre means the wan­ton killing of the de­fense­less or un­re­sist­ing. Thurs­day’s march was de­fense­less, the po­lice there nei­ther to fight nor re­sist.

Words do mat­ter: There is no race war loom­ing in this city or in this coun­try. What does loom is a strug­gle over equal­ity of power, one that ex­tends far be­yond the sim­plis­tic story line of white cops killing young black men.

Amer­ica is strug­gling with some­thing larger: in­equal­ity that tran­scends all race and gen­der. African-Amer­i­cans, for one, over­whelm­ingly be­lieve they are treated un­fairly, from deal­ing with the po­lice to se­cur­ing a mort­gage to cast­ing a vote. In a democ­racy, these opin­ions mat­ter.

Yet, there are killers of all races and col­ors who rep­re­sent no con­stituency. Micah John­son no more rep­re­sented Black Lives Mat­ter than he did the U.S. Army, which he served. Just as the San Bernardino and Or­lando killers no more rep­re­sented Is­lam than the Boul­der Planned Par­ent­hood mur­derer did white males.

Micah John­son was just Adam Lanza, of a dif­fer­ent color. Of course, reck­less politi­cians and con­spir­acy the­o­rists will seize on that. But there is no loom­ing race war. Our na­tion is not di­vided and we are not afraid. There is no causal re­la­tion­ship be­tween po­lice who re­duced racial ten­sion, snap­ping self­ies with pro­test­ers, and a cop-killer.

“This is a city of love,” said Jeff Hood, a white preacher and or­ga­nizer of the march, af­ter the mas­sacre. Now, our minds will judge the words and we alone will lead our hearts.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.