Dallas Shootings Inevitable, Divisions Increase

Shooting in Dallas

Five policemen are dead. Others injured. Hundreds terrified. A nation divided.

We are divided. We have our groups. Our friends, our colleagues, our family, our neighbors. Each of us have established groups that we like and as a result all other groups we like less or we can’t empathize with.

If a friend of yours walked into your office – lets assume you were hiring for a new position – and he interviewed for the job, you would be more likely to help him. Of course, he’s your friend. We do more for people we care about, people who we identify with. By comparison, we do less for people we don’t identify with.

When we form these strong identities, the natural outcome is to treat some people preferentially. We become biased. Racist. Our identities come in all sorts of varieties. Our favorite sports team, our college or high school, our gang, our religion, our ethnicity, our skin color, and so forth. The more emotionally bound we are to these identities, the more we divide the world up and treat everyone else unfairly.

In Dallas, Texas, a black man, enraged by what has happened to his people, snaps. He goes on a shooting spree, killing five police officers and injuring others. He was aiming for Caucasians. He fed off of the propaganda put out by the Black Lives Matter campaign. His hatred increased, and he burned to take vengeance against the white officers who he felt had hurt the people in his group.

The more we promote these divisions, the easier we slip into hatred, violence, and war with each other. Dehumanizing the enemy is a well known and documented tactic that nations will utilize when preparing or engaging in war.

We are continually subject to these same divisions throughout our lives. Our culture thrives on it. The media and businesses feed off of it. The media has an agenda and actively works to create this division. When an Islamic man kills someone, they site his religion and call it terrorism. When a black man targets and kills white people, his skin color is omitted and it is called an ambush. When a white police officer kills a black civilian, skin color is emphasized.

We as a people need to go beyond this. We need to tear down these emotional walls. We need to stop dividing ourselves up. If the media wont stop dividing us, then we must demand reform. In the meantime, we need to start with ourselves.

This doesn’t mean that violence against specific groups doesn’t happen. It does. It means that if we want to stop it, to truly stop it, we need to tear down these emotional barriers.

The USA averages 16,238 murders a year. That is 44 a day. Five dead is a drop in the bucket – as horrible as that sounds. Where is the outrage for all these other murders? Or, if we look on the global scale, where is the outcry and support for all the horrors and inequalities that occur?

We are not going to create peace and equality by furthering our identities and creating stronger divisions. If we truly want change, we must be that change. Seek out ego inside of us that rages when it sees injustice and surrender it. Let go of that divided self and let truer and more peaceful actions manifest.