But as we watched the horrific Dallas shootings unfold, we found ourselves heartbroken, shocked, disgusted, confused and worried.
But mostly we’re angry.
We’re angry that the shooter killed five officers and wounded seven more and two civilians. We’re angry that he hideously transformed something peaceful into this violent act.
We’re angry that this shooter changed the story.
The horrendous deaths of Sterling and Castile needed to be up front and center. Their names needed to be drilled into the zeitgeist, so maybe, finally, something could be done. Peaceful protests, like the one in Dallas, are one constructive way to make voices heard. To make change happen.
And this shooter ripped it away.
He made Alton Sterling and Philando Castile yesterday’s news.
Now instead of stories on these two men who didn’t deserve to die, the media are focused on the five officers who didn’t deserve to die.
Dallas Police Chief David Brown said the shooter “was upset about Black Lives Matter.”
We all are.
Americans are supposed to be “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”
Those rights for some are fundamentally breaking down.
Neither Sterling nor Castile did anything to warrant their brutal deaths, and people wanted their voices heard.
But this shooter took Black Lives Matters and twisted it into some disgusting justification for mass violence.
Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice and the other victims of police brutality deserve better.
The Dallas Police Department and Dallas Area Rapid Transit victims deserve better.
Don’t let this shooter distract us.
The Black Lives Matter movement could effect some real change if it’s done peacefully and passionately.
We need that change.