After the murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, Shaun King said it might be the “tipping point.” His words were more prophetic than he could have known.
Last night, Dallas police officers were shot and killed by snipers during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest. The police and protesters were getting along fine. BLM events are always nonviolent, and it seems the guerrilla sniper action was an independent faction that converged onto the scene.
Today, I listened again to Shaun King’s anguished words:
“I would never say this lightly. I think we are at, or pass, or near some type of tipping point of frustration and anger, and pain, where people have been pushed too far… It’s irrational and inhumane to ask people to remain calm when they are already keenly aware that it’s highly unlikely that you’ll provide any type of justice… They’ve seen “calm” people all over this country be denied justice time after time after time. And people are tired of remaining calm… There’s a rage, a bewilderment, an anger that I’ve seen with calm, cool professionals. I’m talking about school teachers, bankers, regular folk who are telling me… it is, in essence, radicalizing them. We think all over the world how people in the Arab world may be radicalized… how a drone strike could radicalize a community. We need to seriously consider how police brutality… is actively radicalizing many of us who are just asking, ‘What do I do?’ […] Nothing that we have fought for is making a measurable difference yet. And I’m reminded that most historians say that the [formal] Civil Rights movement… was from 1954 to 1968… It’s hard to imagine that we may go 10 more years without seeing substantive change on some of these issues…” ~ Shaun King (17:20 minutes into video)
After the Dallas police killings, it is clear we are passing the tipping point. While everyone condemns the killing of police officers, we can’t be blind to the systemic social injustice that catalyzed what happened.
The Black Lives Matter movement shouldn’t have even needed to come into existence. Based on law, and plain principle, at least some of the police officers who killed the most nonthreatening black victims in their custody should have been convicted. Instead, not even a little justice.
A Rational Response May Save Us
A rational response is needed in the face of yet two more murdered black men and a mass killing of peaceful police officers — to save us from tipping into racial warfare. Americans must stand together to end the home-grown terror in our own country.
There will be those who try to divide us further by fanning the flames of fear and violence. Do not fall for it.