Tuesday, July 12, 2016


This is an extra issue. I decided to post it because the attacks in Dallas struck a chord with me. I have supported Black Lives Matter in the past and I believe it is important for all people to unequivocally condemn acts of violence. This is particularly true when the violence is allegedly carried out for an ideology a person believes in. I think it is evidence of the great integrity of Black Lives Matter that they swiftly condemned the police killings.

I was quick after Dylann Roof committed his attack in Charleston to call it an act of terrorism. That same label must also apply to Micah Xavier Johnson. What happened in Dallas was an act of terrorism and a hate crime. I cannot pretend to understand that I know what it is like to be the subject of racial profiling. I am aware, however, of the circumstances which fuel the protests and the discontent of minorities around the country. Police violence is a problem and a problem that must be solved. Yet I know emphatically that acts of terrorism and cold blooded murder are not the answer.

Joe Walsh received a great deal of flack for his tweet in reaction to Dallas, it was as follows, “3 Dallas Cops Killed, 7 wounded. This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming for you.” The criticism of Walsh following his tweet is warranted and I wholeheartedly agree that it was a profoundly idiotic thing to say. Regardless, it was be wise to analyze the meaning of such words. Anyone foolhardy enough to endorse violence as a viable political strategy only need look to this aforementioned tweet. This is what violence provokes, not capitulation but more hatred. Hatred rising to meet hatred which can only mean more gridlock and crackdowns on dissent. This is the only fruit violence can bring to bear.

In my comic, I compared Micah Xavier Johnson to Dylann Roof and Omar Mateen. This is perhaps a controversial comparison given that the three men would likely hate each other if they ever had the opportunity to share a room. In spite of this I made the comparison because of the thing that unites these three terrorists. No matter what they believed they were fighting for, what they truly represent is the belief that it is acceptable to murder those who disagree with you. That it is acceptable to respond to political disagreement with bigotry, violence, and hatred. No moral cause is righteous enough that it exonerates it's adherents of wrongdoing.

Obviously Omar Mateen is another matter, but I can't help but suspect that Micah Xavier Johnson and Dylann Roof are products of our toxic political climate. That they are in part enabled by our refusal to understand one another and our acceptance of petty conspiracy theories of our political opponents. This election season has seen open bigotry and violence erupt at political rallies. I can't help but believe that our polarized politics plays a role.

These kinds of things belong in America's past, not it's future, and an America where political rallies entail violence, and an America where one can be gunned down for their race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or political affiliation is not an America in which I'd like to live.

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