Gary Younge writes: In a country where it’s easier to obtain a semi-automatic gun than to obtain healthcare, a fragile mind can wreak havoc on a fragile political culture. So it was on Thursday night when a sniper opened fire on police at a Black Lives Matter demonstration killing five officers and wounding at least seven others.
Even as events in Dallas unfold there are three key things one can say. The first is that these murders are vile and should be unequivocally condemned. They can in no way be understood or excused as retaliation for the well-publicised recent incidents of police shootings of African Americans. Indeed the effect of such individual acts of violence is not to support the movement against racism but sabotage it. Its enemies will smear it by association; potential allies will be more wary; those within it will be more cautious. Those believed responsible should be found, charged and prosecuted. This is the appropriate response when people cavalierly and wantonly take the life of another. Anything less would lack justice.
Which brings us to the second point. Justice is indivisible. If it is accorded to some and not others it is not justice but privilege. That is why these horrific assassinations should in no way diminish the urgency or importance of the issue of police killings of African Americans or undermine the Black Lives Matter movement. [Continue reading…]