Violence will not solve violence

Of all the possible reactions to police brutality, of all the possible solutions one can come up with to the problem that police seem to be killing Americans of every color left and right, I can’t think of one more patently idiotic than killing as many cops as possible.

Sadly, that’s exactly what happened in Dallas. With at least one suspect being identified as an Army veteran who claimed they just wanted to kill white cops and not just some opportunistic nutjob wanting to go on a spree shooting, we see just how completely backwards the logic of some can be.

I understand anger and I understand the need for vengeance. When it appears and is reported by the media that cops are targeting persons of color and are getting away with it, anger is the emotion most feel.

Numbers and statistics aside, what can’t be denied is that a huge number of Americans believe that cops are targeting people of color. When people inflict violence, pain and death on others, there is a deep, almost reflexive desire to see the perpetrators of violence get what they deserve.

However, there is a world of difference between wishing for justice and going out to make it happen. Targeting police – especially police that had absolutely nothing to do with the recent string of publicized killings – is nothing more than the pinnacle of selfishness and self-sabotage. The slaughter of police accomplishes nothing but making one person feel kind of good for a couple of hours at the cost of any progress that might have been made. Whether or not the perpetrators of violence in Dallas were affiliated with Black Lives Matter, they have set back the movement and harmed its image.

I find it nearly impossible to believe that anybody could think that this would make any positive change or even help anything. When police are scared for their lives in single confrontations, how scared will they be after the deadliest attack on them since 9/11? No cop on the planet is going to go to work after Dallas and not be on edge. After every occurrence of police brutality there inevitably are those that call for violence and retribution, but to actually have someone go out and do it only serves to reinforce the belief held by the police that they are under threat.

I certainly can’t predict the future, but I do not think police brutality will end. More police are on edge than ever, and that’s going to translate to more violence, more reflexive action and less inclination by anybody to defuse or deescalate situations. Whether true or not, police feel that they are being targeted and they will react with deadly force the instant they perceive a threat. Any that die in the coming weeks, their blood will be on the hands of those who carried out the attack in Dallas.

What’s almost more disturbing is how there are those who blame the police for what happened. One protestor in Dallas was interviewed by a news station and what she said completely boggled my mind – that the attacks occurred because of a problem in policing and the only way to stop the violence was to fix the problem. From where I’m sitting, that’s a veiled threat – telling the world that the police are to blame for what happened and if the police don’t shape up, there will be more killings of police.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the individual interviewed then went on to say that while she felt bad for the police and the families of slain officers, black lives still mattered more. I nearly did a spit-take when I heard that. A slaughter of police, and the police are not only blamed for what happened to them, but then are told that their lives don’t matter as much.

All the talk of unity really seems to be nothing more than lip service. The more an “us vs. them” mentality is being held to, the more violence will happen from both sides.