In light of the tragic assassinations of two innocent NYPD officers this weekend by a deranged man, is there any further proof needed that we as a nation are being rent by violence, illegal guns, outdated laws, and a failed justice system that engenders distrust, not trust, and anger, not healing?
Police kill citizens. Secret grand juries refuse to indict. The old racial lines of white cops and black suspects appear again, 49 years after white Alabama State Troopers attacked peaceful white and black protestors on Bloody Sunday during the march from Selma to Montgomery. Social media crackles with all sorts of messages, some peaceful, some threatening. And then some mentally ill man kills two innocent police officers. NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio rushes to the hospital, while NYC police union officials accuse the mayor of having blood on his hands. A thirteen year old boys collapses in grief at the sight of his dead father, while uniformed police officers turn their back when the mayor enters the room for a press conference.
Where are our leaders? Where are the level headed people who are working to bring our society together, instead of wringing their hands over the deep rifts fracturing this country?
We practice a little civil law, and its always a bloody "if they want it-we don't" scorched earth type of litigation. Never room for compromise, every case replete with accusations and the now common litigation tactic of threatening bar complaints.
In Congress, each party despises the other. When the president makes courageous moves to end 50 failed years of antagonism with Cuba, the other party calls him a traitor and wants to impeach him. One gets the idea that if in one bold stroke the President somehow removed the dictator of North Korea and instilled a peaceful democracy there, the other party- fearful of the president being successful- would call for his indictment for violating international law.
Every issue in our society seems to be a zero sum game, where each participant only sees a win or a loss, and can't understand that sometimes playing the game is a loss for both sides.
So the deaths of these police officers, like the death of citizens at the hands of police officers before, becomes just another move in the chess game. The battle for public opinion and the upper hand. Meanwhile, there are no leaders, there is no healing, problems are not being solved, and a young boy faces the first of the rest of his Christmas's without his father.
"Hands up. I can't breathe. Where's my dad? "
It seems like it will never end.
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