What can you even say about the horrifying events that transpired in Dallas on Thursday night? Even for a country that has become accustomed to episodes of shocking violence, this was like something out of a dystopian sci-fi film. Four snipers, strategically positioned, opened fire on Dallas Police officers, killing five and injuring at least six others.
The suspects’ names had not been released by Friday morning, but their motivations appear clear: They hated whites, they hated cops, and they wanted to exact “revenge” for the recent shooting deaths of black Americans in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.
This tragedy was more devastating than anything we’ve seen from anti-cop madmen in recent years, but it was not completely out of left field. Whether you’re talking about the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore, the execution of two New York City police officers last year, the murder of a Virginia news reporter, or the war zone in Dallas, anti-police rhetoric inevitably leads to anti-police violence.
There’s been an attempt already to draw a sharp distinction between the peaceful protesters and the snipers, and there’s nothing wrong with reminding Americans that this distinction exists. Thousands of people flooded the streets of Dallas, New York City, and other major cities this week to protest; those people aren’t responsible for the actions of four lunatics.
On the other hand, when the media, the Democrats, and the so-called “experts” are all singing the same tune – White America is racist, police see blacks as subhumans, the criminal justice system is rigged against minorities, there is no hope – what do you think is going to happen? It’s funny. Democrats seem to understand that “declaring war on Islam” would be a recipe for disaster, but they don’t see how “declaring war on white police” might be a problem as well. Where are the condemnations of Policeophobia?
We can’t arrive at a place where the police are exempt from criticism, obviously. We can’t give law enforcement officers a free pass to kill whoever they want, for whatever reason they want. When there is injustice, we have the right and the responsibility to root it out.
That said, playing grainy videos of police officers shooting black men over and over and over and over without any balanced critical analysis whatsoever is irresponsible, reckless journalism. The networks and cable shows loop these videos, let pundits talk about racial injustice endlessly, and then – as an afterthought – mutter something about “most officers are doing a good job” as if that disclaimer is all it takes to even out the coverage.
If that style of coverage doesn’t change, Dallas will be a harbinger of things to come.