This month alone: Alton Sterling illegally sells CDs outside a Baton Rouge store and dies at the hands of police. Philando Castile is shot and killed in his car by Minneapolis police during a routine traffic stop. A black former soldier turned sniper kills five white policemen in Dallas during a peaceful protest on July 7. Yesterday, July 17, a black former Marine sergeant kills three police officers and seriously wounds three others before being killed himself.
We can't afford this. When people feel attacked as a group they get defensive. Black people feel attacked as a group by police as a group based on unnecessarily rough treatment by police over decades. Both in Dallas and in Baton Rouge, the men who killed police expressed a sense that the only way to fight back was by killing the white people who were oppressing them.
Police very naturally feel embattled all the time. Any authority immediately feels itself resisted -- that is the nature of humanity. Yet we cry out to authorities when we are in trouble; we create authorities because we need them. Any authority figure is subject to the temptation to abuse authority. Any person subject to authority is tempted to resist it.
This level of breakdown between law enforcement and the rest of us is terrible. It shouldn't be happening -- not after the tremendous efforts on the part of the nonviolent civil rights protesters of the 1960s to end violence.
Yet it is happening. The calls for nonviolence have to increase. Nonviolence alone can overcome violence or the violence will never end.