You can’t turn on the news or look at social media without learning of new violence — more cop killing or killing cops in America, more terrorism in France, the attempted coup in Turkey — I can’t help wonder what is prompting this ongoing stream of tragic incidents. Are people angrier? Are things unraveling everywhere? I don’t know. I’m just a lifestyle blogger, blogging about, well, life. And this is shaking up everyone’s life around the globe. Whether it’s my friends and parents in Dallas, their friends in Minneapolis, my relatives in Baton Rouge, my sister studying abroad in Europe, myself actually making the move to another country, and everyone in between, we’re all affected the moment we flip on our TV on any given day.
Most of us wonder why? What’s happening? To be sure, there’s no shortage of theories circulating. The usual spokespeople are ranting about too many guns, or gun rights, or poverty, or racism, or religious extremism. Obama isn’t doing enough, or he’s doing the exact right thing. The presidential candidates are weighing in, as are the news commentators, celebrities, and my mailman and the hair stylist and the store clerk in Walgreens. All I know is that I know enough to know that I don’t know. But even if I feel unsure, I still feel it’s worth speaking about. It’s worth talking about tough subjects. Yes, I know there is a sale going on at Nordstrom’s right now, and there is a viral Pokemon app. But just because I usually hit a lighter note, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t step out and use this platform, or whatever platform you are on, to at least discuss what matters.
I won’t claim to know the answers. I have no idea what it’s like to be black in America or what it’s like to be a police officer, any more than they know what it’s like to be a short white female. And taking a class on it or watching a movie doesn’t help me come to know the injustice they’ve encountered.
As a chronicler of my times, which is what a lifestyle blogger is, I feel uniquely qualified to note that part of what we’re witnessing is the impact of communication technology. We’re seeing everything, everywhere almost in real time. And so, as bad as things seem, and are, it may be more impactful to us because we’re able to see so much of it in so many corners of the world all at one time. These are my times. Our times. And although I am not qualified to pontificate about who or what is causing all the turmoil, or what to do about it, I can say that I’m sad and worried and mad to see this unfolding, rapid-fire, like an action movie that I can’t turn off.
I do not understand senseless violence and killing. And at the moment, I tend to want to blame the media for fueling the violence by reporting things before they’ve got all the facts. Or failing to report some stories at all. In all the confusion, it’s hard to know the root causes and HOW to change them. It make take years before we fully understand.
What’s happening in America is profoundly emotional. And so when emotions run rampant, we have to turn to the facts. I’m not going to relay them here. But I think we have to look at why things are happening and HOW to change them.
As a native Dallasite I feel like we’re still licking our wounds from the Kennedy assassination. It was and still is a black eye for Dallas. I am proud to be from this city, this state, and even more proud of the way the chief of police and mayor handled this horrible act of violence. I am, and will always be, proud of my city. Even though I’m away, what happens in Dallas affects me to my core.
I’ve written and stalled to hit publish on this post multiple times. But I just had to do it. If you’re looking for a more substantial take on how Dallas feels in the wake of the police shootings, read this New York Times article, in which they quoted my Dad, Craig Flournoy. Who, I look up to, especially at times like these for answers.
I’m not sure who has the answer. But I don’t think silence is one.