We had the opportunity yesterday to see both former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama as they attended and spoke during the ceremony honoring the slain and wounded Dallas police officers. They joined with Dallas Police Chief David Brown in delivering what can be called a eulogy. Chief Brown did a wonderful job recognizing the hurt he was experiencing for those who had lost loved ones as his officers were killed.
President Bush delivered his prepared remarks in a most heartfelt and genuine manner; he came across as the consummate former Commander-in-Chief who understands the loss of those for whom one is responsible and the anguish that such untimely death in the line of duty brings to the members of the families who lost loved ones as well as to the force itself.
President Obama delivered his remarks in a heartfelt and genuine manner, as well, and praised the members of the Dallas Police department. He recognized those who had been killed and recognized the grieving families. The following paragraph from the Dallas Morning News tells the rest of this story:
” President Barack Obama urged Americans rattled by a week of violence and protests to find “open hearts” and new empathy Tuesday in a speech that seesawed between honoring police officers for their bravery and decrying racial prejudice that can affect their work.”
A former President had the right tone and the right message, and the sitting President had to resort to racial prejudice as he tried to use this ceremony as the stage to further his tiresome line of illogic. The shooter was a black former soldier and yet the President had to ‘pose for holy pictures’ to impress the “Black Lives Matter” movement. It is difficult to have it both ways. The slain officers were part of the fully integrated Dallas police force. They didn’t go out to defend the streets of Dallas and the people of Dallas based upon the race of the shooter or the race of those they were sworn to protect. They did what they swore they’d do without regard to anything other than that oath.
President Obama is from the Greater Chicago area where a person dies of gunshot once every 14 hours on average (that means some 625 people will be killed by gunshots in the course of a year). We note, of course, that the President and his family will not soon return to their hometown since both of their children will be attending schools in that area, not in the Chicago area.
Most of us saw a grieving police force with grieving leaders who had lost comrades-in-arms. They were not thinking about the race of anyone. They were doing what they were sworn to do and had no idea there was anything racial involved. There was a shooter and there were people at risk and they went to defend and protect their community and its residents.
President Obama could’ve avoided the apparent need he felt to racialize this situation, but he chose not to do that. His predecessor did avoid that racialization, largely because he doesn’t see everything through a racial prism. He saw people that did their duty and he saw people that were devastated by the loss of their loved one, and he wanted to provide whatever comfort he could to them in that situation. Obviously, the former President didn’t feel any need to racialize the situation because he is not from the world where everything has a racial overtone. He is from the world where a leader stands with those he leads and suffers when one of those is lost. He is from the world where the people under his command are given all the credit and where he takes any and all grief others may wish to dish.