OPINION COLUMNS

Hate hits too close to home

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, July 9, 2016
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Shocked, sad, mad, numb and finally, just paralyzed.

That was the range of emotions I felt as I watched the news from downtown Dallas unfold Thursday night and Friday morning on television and through my Twitter feed.

This wasn’t New York, Boston, Charleston, San Bernardino, Orlando or Aurora, Colo..

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

This was Dallas – my backyard, on streets that I’ve run countless times. It’s where I’ve caught trains to musicals and conventions.

This was also an attack on officers that in all likelihood I’ve thanked while they blocked traffic for me to do something as trivial as run on Thanksgiving.

This was the first time terrorism hit home. No, there is no tie to ISIS or a militant group, but it is the act of an individual fueled by hate. It’s a hate I refuse to understand.

The week’s events in Louisiana and Minnesota were terrifying and polarizing. It followed too closely the familiar narrative from two summers ago in Ferguson, Mo.

Demonstrations and marches seemed to allow people to vent some of the anguish and fear and to bring attention to a troubling issue that demands a solution.

Thursday appeared to be a night of unity with police officers on the streets to provide safety for marchers during their journey through Dallas. There were pictures of officers posing with the marchers on social media, capturing a feeling of healing and unity that was so badly needed.

A few minutes later scrolling through my Twitter feed those good feelings were replaced by horror. Each second I felt myself slipping slowly from pure shock to despair and anger about this happening here.

By midnight, the numbness started as news broke of the death of multiple officers. This morning after flipping on the television and learning more officers died, paralysis hit. All I could do was lay there next to my wife and think how fortunate I was. Then thoughts drifted to the families of fallen officers. They unknowingly told their loved ones goodbye for the last time Thursday morning.

Hate once again has shattered the lives of many, and this time too close to home.

Thursday the hashtag BlackLivesMatter filled my newsfeed. On Friday, many have added BlueLivesMatter after this senseless act.

But what’s really needed, more than ever in our nation, is the true belief that all lives matter. Only love can destroy hate.

Even in this dark hour, I believe in my fellow man to prove that goodwill and love will conquer and prevail.

Richard Greene is the Messenger’s sports editor.

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