The tragedy that is America has deepened with the news that several people on Thursday organized a military-style sniper attack targeting police in Dallas during a protest march and rally against police brutality and killings of black people in that city.
The murder of anybody, whether it’s a police officer or someone who is simply stopped by a cop for a minor traffic violation and is then shot because a jumpy officer mistakes reaching for a wallet to be reaching for a gun, as happened just two days ago in Minnesota, is a dreadful thing.
But it has to be said that, with American police — most of them white — gunning down over 500 people — most of them black or brown and most of them unarmed — in just the first half of this year, it was bound to happen that somebody, or some group of people, would decide to retaliate by taking revenge on the police. That’s not to justify what happened in Dallas, and we still need to learn who was involved in this shooting of 12 cops and two civilian protesters, killing five police officers, and what their motives were. It’s just to say that if the police continue to treat one segment of American society as enemy combatants in a war zone, and if the legal system continues to give brutal cops a pass when they maim or kill innocent citizens, including young children, effectively granting them immunity for their atrocities, there will inevitably be a violent reaction.
Recall the origins of the Black Panther movement,…