Throwing fuel on a fire


For some time now, our country has heard the continuous chant that Black Lives Matter.

Of course they do. Nobody should ever dispute that.

But we would contend that all lives matter, whether they be black, white or any other nationality or ethnic group.

The Black Lives Matter movement took the national stage shortly after an 18-year-old black man was killed by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. Based on forensic and eyewitness evidence, a grand jury decided Wilson acted in self-defense when he shot Brown and did not return an indictment.

Unfortunately, before and after the grand jury’s decision, the city was looted, law enforcement officers had rocks and bottles thrown at them and the city saw many buildings burned to the ground by lawless anarchists, many of whom were bused in from other states to cause chaos.

President Barack Obama was outspoken on Ferguson and gave somewhat of an indictment of law enforcement, not only in Ferguson, but across the country when it came to police officers’ treatment of minorities, including in April in Baltimore when it pertained to the death of Freddie Gray.

We believe Obama should have stayed out of this issue and instead focused on the hundreds of black-on-black murders in inner-city Chicago every year. Or address the high black-on-black murder rates in Baltimore, Detroit, Oakland, Calif., Cleveland and other major cities across this country.

As commander in chief, Obama has an obligation to look out for his country to the best of his ability. In taking that oath, one of Obama’s duties as president is to look out for all Americans, not just one segment of the population.

Obama should not be picking and choosing killings that fit his political agenda. Since he did choose to jump into the picking-and-choosing arena, why doesn’t our commander in chief come out and simply say this rhetoric is not productive, it’s causing unnecessary division and that every single life in this country matters?

We’re waiting, Mr. President.

On Aug. 28, in Harris County, Texas, Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth was ambushed from behind while filling up his patrol car. Goforth, who was white, was shot execution-style in the head, and the alleged shooter, Shannon Miles, was charged with capital murder. Miles, who is black, unloaded his 15-round pistol into Goforth’s body after the initial shot.

We will give Obama credit for calling Goforth’s widow, Kathleen, that evening and sending his and the first lady’s condolences. That is what a leader of all the people does.

We believe Obama when he says that the targeting of police officers is “totally unacceptable.”

Authorities in Texas say they suspect the motive may have been that Goforth was in police uniform. This marks the fourth police officer murdered in 10 days. In 2014, 15 officers were killed in ambush attacks.

One could argue that some of these law enforcement officers may have been targeted because of the anti-police rhetoric that has been put out by certain people and groups.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman put it best.

“The rhetoric has gotten out of control. We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter. Well, cops’ lives matter, too.”

Hickman is spot on.

The majority of police officers are our friends, not our foes. Obviously, the Black Lives Matter movement is entitled to its opinion under the First Amendment when they chant “Pigs in a blanket! Fry ‘em like bacon,” as they did last weekend in Minnesota.

But people like this are simply adding fuel to an ongoing fire.

At the end of the day, we as a diverse country don’t need slogans that imply some lives matter more than others.

We should and need to say, “All Lives Matter.”

Bowling Green Daily News

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