Massacre can’t be pinned on any group
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.