Ideas in Art, culture, technology,politics and life-- In Brooklyn and Beyond
Sunday, July 10, 2016
Many Rivers to Cross Before Healing Can Take Place
From The Dallas Morning News: Truths for any city:
"This city, our city, has been tested before. Now we face a new test.
More than 50 years ago, madness struck like a lightning bolt and cut down our nation's president, leaving shadows that lingered for generations. We rebounded, but slowly. We eventually remade our city into one all but unrecognizable to anyone alive in 1963.
Thursday night, another kind of lightning flashed across our horizon and plunged our city into a new kind of grief — and brought fear back to the place we call home.
The shocking slaying of five police officers, and the shooting of seven others, plus two civilians, has left this city stunned.
We've asked, all of us, why us? Why this city? Why these officers? Why now?
And we are surely not alone in asking, as our hearts break, what kind of country are we creating where such violence has become so frequent?
A country where thousands of North Texans are driven to our downtown streets to peacefully protest police violence. Where a man could grow so bitter with rage that he gunned down a dozen police officers he'd probably never seen before.
Here in Dallas, we have not found answers that satisfy. Perhaps there are none.
Dallas is a proud city. Although it is not a new city, it still feels unfinished, like a young adult still holding out for a late growth spurt.
That sense of continuous change makes sense to us because we live in a place of new beginnings, of immigrants, and of job seekers. A place of friendly greetings and big ambitions, where the next new opportunity seems just around the corner.
But there is another truth about Dallas. We live together, but we do not often understand one another. This is because of class, sometimes geography and often race.
We are not unique in this. Americans are living beside one another without understanding one another all over the country.
But in Dallas, rigid boundaries seem more pronounced. Few Dallasites in the north venture south across the river that divides our city nearly in half. This chasm has made it easier to avoid uncomfortable truths, to make nice, to paper over fundamental inequities.
Thursday night's events have summoned us, unbidden, to examine the consequences of knowing so little about life on the other side of these boundaries. Across America, our countrymen and women will be watching what we do in the weeks and months ahead.
Where to begin?
It's time to put aside, for now, pronouncements about what is right and who is wrong. To push past the politics of race and anger and to put the presidential election out of our hearing for a brief moment.
We must learn to listen and feel what it is like to live in Dallas, across divides. We need to understand that it's not the same for a black teenager in South Dallas to walk home late on a Friday and see a police cruiser roll by as it is for somebody else in another part of town.
We need to understand the challenges implicit in donning a police uniform in this vast and conflicted city. The bravery and sacrifice — and the fear.
There will be time later for anger and for justice — anger whose purpose is served in justice. But for now we need to learn to understand each other, to really hear one another, to learn from each other."