A newspaper in Spain, La Razón, asked me for 300 words on Dallas. Here is what I could manage:
Upon hearing the news of the sniper attack in Dallas, an acquaintance of mine remarked on “how quickly the mass demonstration in the Eric Garner case was silenced after two officers were killed.” She worried that something similar would happen now, just after so many in this country had been mobilized to protest the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I do not believe the protests will be stilled or silenced. Too much has happened since Eric Garner was killed exactly two years ago, in July 2014. For one thing, since then the killings of black men and women by police have not stopped at all. So far in the first half of this year alone 136 blacks have been killed. Public consciousness has been raised by not only these data but also by the growing presence and energy of #BlackLivesMatter—we now have a rallying cry around which to form lines of solidarity. And this is all the more necessary given the ways presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has fanned the flames of racism and violence in this country. Even though today The Washington Post credited Trump for making what they considered a measured and reasonable statement about Dallas, their reaction shows how low we have fallen when we commend a leading political figure for not being openly racist. Our expectations for our leaders should not be “they should not be virulently racist,” but rather that they should be actively seeking justice for all. The terrible shootings in Dallas cannot logically or morally be an alibi for pausing a moment in our pursuit of justice. Our leaders need to act, and the only way they will is if we the people continue to press them to do so, in the most urgent manner possible.