News of Dallas shootings Thursday and protests by Black Lives Matter are creating divisions in the United States, according to reports. In the aftermath of fatal shootings involving African-Americans and white police officers, the United States is seemingly getting divided on racial lines.
“In 2016 the issue of race will remain high on the agenda in the United States. The police killings of unarmed black men and women over the past few years reignited a debate over race relations in America, and the reverberations will be felt in the upcoming presidential election and beyond,” BBC reported.
Following the police killings of Philando Castile in Minnesota and Alton Sterling in Louisiana, five white police officers were shot dead by a black man, Micah Johnson, during a protest rally organized by Black Lives Matter on Thursday in downtown Dallas.
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter protests happened across Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, and San Francisco against the Dallas police shootings. According to NBC News, police arrested 74 people at a Black Lives Matter protest demonstration in Rochester, New York, on Friday amid nationwide protests against police shootings of black citizens.
How police across the U.S. are taking extra precautions after the Dallas shooting https://t.co/DIGBax5kro— Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) July 9, 2016
Black Lives Matter organized marches and vigils across the United States to protest the video-recorded killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as the wider pattern of needless violence and abuse by white police officers against African-Americans and other people of color. The demonstrations against the use of excessive force by police has reportedly spread to other cities such as Baltimore and Philadelphia. Thousands of protesters marched and blocked traffic as part of what they feel is a new civil rights movement.
The killing of five white police officers in Dallas also triggered acrimonious right-wing reactions against Black Lives Matter groups. The reactions have been one unpleasant comment after the next. Check out some of the comments posted on Twitter in less than 24 hours after the Dallas shootings.
Former one-term Congressman Joe Walsh tonight. He later deleted the 'This is now war. Watch out Obama' tweet. pic.twitter.com/Yrg85NgB7a— Victor Blackwell CNN (@VictorBlackwell) July 8, 2016
Meanwhile, the Dallas shootings investigations hinted that Micah Johnson, who killed five police officers and wounded seven others and two civilians, acted alone. Reportedly, Dallas police cornered Micah Xavier Johnson at El Centro College at around 11 p.m. Thursday and tried to negotiate, but the talks failed and a robot was brought in to detonate a bomb and kill the suspect. According to the Daily Mail, Johnson told the police during negotiation that his motivations for committing this crime were to kill white people, especially white officers.
U.S. President Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Warsaw, sought to unite a fractured United States, insisting that the Dallas shootings and seething racial tensions would not upset a common sense of purpose. He lamented the death of five police officers as “painful” but rejected comparisons with the civil unrest that the United States saw in the ’60s.
In his address, Obama reiterated that crime in the United States was now markedly lower and the U.S. society had stronger grounds to build on than half a century ago. He also pointed out the need for gun control debate in the wake of the Dallas shootings and said he had to deal with the issue, despite its polarizing effect.
Reportedly, Obama has decided to cut short his European tour and reach Dallas to ease the tension after the killing of five white police officers in Texas.
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacted to the Dallas shootings, saying every American has a right to live in safety and peace and that U.S. citizens must work together and stand together to make America safe again.
A Los Angeles Times op-ed highlighted the tense racial tensions on the Dallas shootings, saying, “The United States is at a crossroads, facing an epidemic of anger, a divided populace and another skirmish in our long national struggle with race. How will we respond? Can we address the inequalities and disparities that President Obama called to our attention, or will we ignore them at our own peril?”
What are your thoughts on the July 2016 Dallas shootings?
[Photo by Eric Gay/AP Images]