President Obama again lectured the nation with his favorite talking points at the memorial yesterday for the victims of the Dallas rampage that left five police officers dead, but before Obama even spoke, Colorado Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn, a popular conservative Air Force Vet who happens to be black, wrote a powerful response.
Glenn is in the middle of an immensely competitive Senate race in the Rocky Mountain State with an incumbent Democrat who has good reason to be worried…
>>>Read Glenn’s Statement Below:
“I am deeply grieved about what we have seen this past week. Words are hard to find.
What happened in Minnesota, Dallas, and Baton Rouge was unspeakably evil. It is impossible to watch what has taken place in these three cities without feeling a mixture of grief and anger.
With tragedy like this unfolding around us, we need to hold in our head two distinct thoughts at the same time: You can support and be grateful for your police and at the same find the actions of certain individual police abhorrent. In the same way, if a pastor or priest violates the trust of his flock, it does not mean you do not love your church. But it does mean there’s a serious violation of trust. Justice must be brought to that person. Because when the people who are supposed to protect us violate our trust, it erodes our trust in each other and our faith in the rule of law.
Likewise, finding the actions of individual police abhorrent does not mean we have the right to disrespect police either. I cannot say it better than Marc Veasey, the Congressman from the Dallas-Fort Worth area did today: “Without the police, we would have anarchy in the streets. We would have no order, and the country that we live in wouldn’t be the country that we know today–where we have a free press, where we have freedom of speech, where we have the right to gather and protest.”
The fact is that nobody hates dirty cops more than good cops. Nobody wants bad cops off the streets more than good cops. These few bad apples give good officers a bad name, they make their jobs harder, and they put their lives in danger–as evidenced by what happened in Dallas last night. Meanwhile, no single group of people does more to protect black Americans on a daily basis than our police. That’s the truth that we hardly ever hear.
At the same time, we must also admit that racism in America is real, and that there is a reason the relationship between police and the black community is so damaged. If you are a black person growing up in America, chances are pretty good that you have experienced the police pulling you over in front of your mother’s house because you “had a headlight out,” (This kind of thing has happened to me more than once.) You’ve probably been pulled over because you were driving a nice car in the wrong neighborhood. You’ve probably been asked to step out of your car for awhile and then released without being given a reason.
Unless you have lived through an experience like this, you cannot understand how violating it feels, or what it does to your ability to feel safe in your city–to trust the people who are supposed to protect you. Think about what this does to our children: if you’re a black child watching CNN this week and you see video like the one in Minnesota, how are you not supposed to wonder if you are safe around police when you see them?
This is not an attack on our police, it’s just a statement of fact: we cannot have unjust killings happening on our streets without a serious erosion in the confidence of the public. This threatens the very rule of law itself. This kind of fear only leads to more confrontation and violence.
And yet, the only way to possibly make this situation worse is to respond with more violence. I understand the rage and anger many feel when they see violent images like this. But violence only begets more violence.
There will be a time to debate serious criminal justice reform, and I intend to talk about it a lot in the weeks ahead. But today is not that day. Today is a day to grieve, to hug our neighbors, to think about how we heal our communities.
Acts like the ones that took place in Minnesota and Dallas and Baton Rouge tear at the very fabric of America. Frederick Douglass said, “The ice under us in this country is very thin, and is made very weak by the warm fogs of prejudice.”
In the coming days, we must beware of those who would attempt to divide Americans along racial or political lines in a time of crisis. “White privilege” is not to blame, black parents who worry about their children being killed by police are not to blame, the Republican Party is not to blame, the Democratic Party is not to blame, the 2nd Amendment is not to blame. Evil people are to blame. Period.
I hope you will join me today in praying for the victims and their families. Pray for our police in Dallas who were injured last night, for the police across America watching the events in Dallas last night, and then getting up and doing their jobs today anyway. Pray for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Pray for wisdom and safety in our cities today.
Most of all, pray for healing in our country and in our hearts.”