This situation is serious and dire. Taking a life of anyone needs to be understood as something that is unique when compared to any other aggressive action that we may engage in.
Over 500 people have been killed by police in the United States so far just this year. The numbers are increasingly lopsided. Fewer police officers dying, more civilians, mostly brown and black, ending up in body bags at the hands of the police. As police officers jobs get safer annually, the terror they inflict upon communities, mostly communities of color, grows exponentially.
We can only guess at this moment as to the motivations, or even most of the facts on the ground of what happened tonight in Dallas. But one thing must be very clear to everyone: It was only a matter of time before someone would carry the torch left by Christopher Dorner or Christopher Monfort. The communities are on the edge of breaking. Rage fills the hearts of many. And as we enter an era of loved ones livestreaming the death of their family members at the hands of the police, many will start to find themselves on the verge of snapping.
How are we to continue to excuse the bloody reign of terror that U.S. law enforcement not only has embarked on, but exists to embark on, while not understanding that some people may finally feel pushed into a corner and feel the need to respond in kind? How are we to continue to make excuses for trained police officers acting “emotionally and impulsively” with no regard for human life, but then attack those who may have also finally been driven to emotional and impulsive actions because they are fighting for their lives.
The country is on the verge of mass civil strife. No one can debate that. As people’s political, social, and economic realities become more and more divergent from one another, and the country splits and stratifies… As the gap between rich and poor grows at the same time as the split between those seeking freedom and justice on one side, and reactionary responses to complex issues on the other… As we watch this country come to grips with its racist, horrific, genocidal past as it plays out night after night in continued attacks on brown and black communities… How can we not understand why the actions in Dallas of tonight were inevitable?
Even now, at this moment, the same right wing reactionaries who call on people to arm themselves against their despotic government will rush to the defense of law and order and the state, and the police who serve these ends. They will vilify, attack, condemn, anyone who would just happen to be black or brown or left wing or gay or Muslim or not a white reactionary who may have engaged in the actions they claim are justified against villainous tyrants.
But the real question is: Will those of us who profess a love of liberty, justice, and a world of freedom and equity for all peoples also fall in line with this logic? Will we turn our back on marginalized people and allow ourselves to become mouthpieces for the monopolization of violence in the hands of the racist enforcers of the state? Or will we attempt to make sense of the violent responses, understand that John Brown and Nat Turner are heroes because they did stand up violently to oppression? Will we understand that resistance and rebellion don’t fit into pretty little boxes that will always make us comfortable and fit our sensibilities?
Will we stand on the side of those who are tired of being mere victims of state sanctioned terrorism? Or will we fall in line with those condemning those who would have the audacity to finally fight back on the terms that have been written by the state?
Oppressed and marginalized people did not choose the rules of engagement. They did not choose centuries of genocide, slavery, Jim Crow, reservation lives, militarized borders, ICE raids, deportations, overcrowded prison cells, malnourished babies, and racist police murders. They did not choose the violence that has been made a daily reality of their lives. These conditions, these rules of engagement have been written by those who engage in and support the terror plaguing these communities and peoples.
We must always stand with those who have had enough of their oppression and who fight back. It is our role to aid in that process, to help fight for liberation for all working class and marginalized people, not to condemn them or take the enemy’s side in this conflict.
"Four Dallas law enforcement officers were shot and killed, and seven others and one civilian wounded by two snipers at the end of a rally in downtown Dallas, where hundreds were protesting police shootings in other parts of the country earlier this week. The Dallas Police Department reported late Thursday that one suspect had been apprehended, and that a suspicious package is being secured by the city’s bomb squad.
A person of interest whose photo was distributed by police has turned himself in, the department said.
Brown said law enforcement appeared to have been intentionally targeted by the shooters, who were trying to triangulate their fire on officers. Some officers were shot in the back, Brown said." -NPR, July 7, 2016
This article also appeared in It's Going Down on July 8th, 2016, and in the original Redneck Revolt blog site.