Last week the City of Dallas fell victim to a horrific terrorist attack that claimed the lives of five police officers. Instead of living in fear, people from all walks of life are coming together to help bring healing to a community in desperate need of it.
A moment that could have led to division has instead brought an entire city together. But that doesn’t mean there haven’t been moments of great tension.
While the national media, and even our own President, paints a picture of civil unrest, the fact of the matter is that Dallas is coming together in a way that nobody could have predicted in a time of “crisis.”
The internet has a funny way of making things seem a lot worse than they really are, and the situation in Dallas is no exception. Based on what you see online, one could assume the City of Dallas has burnt to the ground, but that is definitely not the case, and in fact the opposite has happened.
There is a sense of unity in the City of Dallas that is inexplainable in this day and age. Racial tensions across the country are at a boiling point, but you don’t feel that in Dallas. Instead, you see blue ribbons, peaceful marches, and candlelit vigils within days of the tragedy that transpired. The nation is waiting for a powder keg to go off, but the people have responded with love, and it doesn’t matter what “side” people are on.
Protestors Coming Together
While the rest of the country attempts to push some type of agenda, the City of Dallas is merely concerned with the well-being of those who call it home, and those who protect it. Since the terrorist attack last week the community has shown nothing but support for its officers, and each other. There has been a sense of peace, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that unless you’re down here. National news is doing its best to sell this narrative of “division” within city limits, but that’s simply not happening.
The situation boils down to this: a crazy person started shooting at police officers during an incredibly peaceful protest. Talking heads from conservative and liberal points of view are trying to assess blame for the actions of a lunatic. But those living here are less concerned with pointing fingers, and more concerned with giving love. Truly, it’s unbelievable that an entire community would respond to such horrific actions with peace, and love. Why is this?
Well, for starters, the Dallas Police Department has taken incredible strides to ensure that their officers are held accountable for their actions, which cannot be said about departments throughout the country. A lot of the credit goes to Police Chief David Brown. Over just the last three years, Dallas PD has seen a significant drop in its use of force when dealing with criminal suspects. The department has also let go of at least 70 officers, for various reasons that have been made publicly available. This kind of transparency and accountability has done nothing but instill trust in the officers who protect the community.
Perhaps this is why the actions of the shooter last Thursday seemed so out of place. For years Dallas police have been working with the city to build a bond between the city and its officers, and it is during this moment of chaos that we see just how much of an impact those efforts have made. Now, more than ever, there is a sense of unity in Dallas.
Surely, as he was taking out cops, the shooter intended to create division, but the exact opposite has happened. There is a feeling of togetherness people haven’t felt since Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks sang “We Are The Champions” after winning a championship five years ago.
Don’t let the national media lie to you, there is no chaos here in North Texas. Sure, President Obama and George W. Bush will be speaking, but don’t buy the “shattered city” hype. We aren’t even close to being broken. If anything, this has only made us stronger. We’ve come together in a way that should inspire the rest of the country. Black, white, brown; people of all shades are coming together to show that the actions of one man don’t define a city’s populace. Rather, the response has been nothing but love, and maybe that’s the message the country needs to see.
A wise man once said that love is the only thing that can drive out hate. For the most part, the citizens of Dallas have been trying to do just that. Sure, there is a lot of tension, but instead of building up walls, people are being more understanding, and showing a willingness to listen that hasn’t been present in a long time.
We may not be perfect, but I could not be prouder with how Dallas has responded to last week’s tragedy. The thing the city needs most right now is love, and apparently those who call it home agree, and are giving it out any chance they get. Hopefully the people of Dallas can continue to respond with love, because there could not be a more powerful, necessary message right now.