By all accounts, the protest was peaceful. Both the officers there to assure order and the people involved in the march commented that it was peaceful. Based on video footage, there were people of all races in the crowd.
Then the shots rang out and a dozen people were hit, five of them fatally.
The officers that were shot were not involved in the incidents in Minnesota and Baton Rouge this week. They were there to help ensure the protesters right to Freedom of Speech. Why kill those who are ensuring your freedom?
I do not know what the answer to race relations in our country is. I have grown up in diverse populations all my life and have had friends of all races, religions, and sexual orientations. I have found both good people and idiots in all walks of life. I tend to look at the individual person so it’s hard for me to fathom those who categorically dismiss whole populations because of a difference of skin tone, or how they pray, or who they love.
But the one thing that I do know is that killing each other is not the way to bring us together.
And while the recent high-profile deaths of African Americans by white police officers are seen by many as unwarranted, the killing of Dallas police officers last night was a deliberate act of terror. There is a difference. But the fact is, both need to stop, and more open discussion needs to happen.
My heart breaks for the victims and their families as well as for my city and my country. We are better than this.