Enemies of the people are outnumbered
LEE A. DANIELS | 7/17/2016, 9:31 p.m.
(George Curry Media) – In the hours before the 25-year-old Army veteran Micah Johnson launched his, in the words of President Barack Obama, “vicious, calculated and despicable” attack on White officers of the Dallas police force, something simultaneously remarkable and ordinary occurred.
Department officials took advantage of the peacefulness of the early-evening demonstration there – organized to protest the killings of two Black men by non-Black police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota – to post pictures of it.
“Men, women, boys & girls gathered @BeloGarden Park for the demonstration re: recent police involved shootings” read the caption to one photo that in other circumstances might have suggested a crowd gathered for an evening outdoor music concert.
Who could have imagined those photos would within hours become part of the evidence of what Johnson sought to destroy – the attempt in Dallas to find a pathway out of a troubled past and a difficult present to mutual trust and cooperation.
Johnson’s murderous rampage that took the lives of five White officers was the work of an enemy of the people. He wasn’t acting “on behalf of” Black Americans in any way.
Instead, he was acting out the demons within him he could no longer even partially control. It is striking and revealing that he acted amid a demonstration that had shown police, whose task was to keep order, and a multiracial throng protesting instances of police wrongdoing could occupy the same space respectfully.
Just 12 months ago, much of America was horrified by another murderous rampage, committed by Dylann Roof, Johnson’s mirror image across the color line.
Johnson apparently held some mumbo-jumbo Black separatist notions and declared he wanted to kill White people, especially White cops. Roof, trying to find an excuse for his sense of worthlessness, latched on to the pathetic ideology of White supremacy and talked of wanting to start a race war. Johnson, armed with a semi-automatic rifle, hid under the cover of night in a downtown garage to snipe at police officers that a day of peace had given no reason to suspect trouble.
Roof chose a house of worship to commit his crime against humanity, concealing his true intentions behind a meek countenance and the welcoming embrace of the congregants of Charleston, South Carolina’s Emanuel AME Church.
After this latest tragedy, it would be easy to surrender to the dynamic of hatred, violence and despair swirling furiously in American society.
One could note the vile cover the New York Post posted even before Dallas police officials had finished securing the crime scene there. “Civil War,” it screamed – giving vent to the eternal fear-fantasy of White racists of a “Black uprising” against White people.
And one could note the bellowing Twitter rant of Joe Wilson, former congressman who infamously yelled, “You lie!” to Obama during his first State of the Union address. Even as the gunfight between Johnson and Dallas police was still raging, Wilson, now a semi-obscure radio talk-show jockey, tweeted that Obama was “cop-hater” and “This is now war. Watch out Obama.”