Interfaith Memorial for Murdered Dallas Police

“There is in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong, a love of truth and a veneration of virtue … if the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice.” —John Adams (1775)

"We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." —Ronald Reagan

In Dallas on Tuesday, July 12th, there was an interfaith memorial for five slain police officers -- the latest casualties of the Obama/Clinton war on cops.

Police Chief David Brown spoke for three minutes. Former President George W. Bush spoke for seven minutes. Barack Obama spoke for 40 minutes, referencing himself 45 times.

Obama offered fitting references to the slain officers, faux references to scripture and then resorted to more race-bait rhetoric.

Chief David Brown:

Brown received a standing ovation for his words of peace and reconciliation, reciting lyrics from Stevie Wonder's song "I'll be loving you always."

What you probably do not know about Chief Brown is the loss he has personally suffered.

According to a media profile of Brown, "In June 2010, just weeks after he was sworn in as police chief, a young Dallas police officer and father was shot dead on father's day. The killer was Mr. Brown's 27-year-old son. ... Mr Brown's son, David O'Neal Brown Jr, first shot dead a private citizen, Jeremy McMillan, as McMillan drove his family to his sister's house. He then shot police officer Craig Shaw, who was responding to the first shooting, more than a dozen times. ...

"[I]n 1988, [Chief Brown's] former partner Walter Williams was killed in the line of duty. Three years later, his younger brother was shot dead by a drug dealer."

The day prior to the memorial service, Chief Brown delivered a moving indictment of what is now expected of police nationwide: "We’re asking cops to do too much in this country. We are. Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve."

Excerpts from former President George W. Bush (full transcript here):

"Today the nation grieves. But those of us who love Dallas and call it home have had five deaths in the family.

"We are proud of the men we mourn ... these slain officers were the best among us. Lorne Ahrens, beloved husband to Detective Katrina Ahrens and father of two. Michael Krol, caring son, brother, uncle, nephew, and friend. Michael Smith, U.S. Army veteran, devoted husband, and father of two. Brent Thompson, Marine Corps vet, recently married. Patrick Zamarripa, US Navy Reserve combat veteran, proud father, and loyal Texas Rangers fan.

"With their deaths, we have lost so much. We are grief-stricken, heartbroken, and forever grateful. ... At times, it seems like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates too quickly into dehumanization. Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions. And this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose.

"But Americans, I think, have a great advantage. To renew our unity, we only need to remember our values. We have never been held together by blood or background. We are bound by things of the spirit — by shared commitments to common ideals.

"At our best, we practice empathy, imagining ourselves in the lives and circumstances of others. ... At our best, we honor the image of God we see in one another. ... At our best, we know we have one country, one future, one destiny. ... We know that the kind of just, humane country we want to build ... is made possible when men and women in uniform stand guard. At their best, when they are trained and trusted and accountable, they free us from fear. The Apostle Paul said, 'For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of strength and love and self-control.' Those are the best responses to fear in the life of our country. And they are the code of the peace officer.

"I’d like to conclude with a word to the families, the spouses, and especially the children of the fallen. Your loved one’s time with you was too short, and they did not get the chance to properly say goodbye. But they went where duty called. They defended us, even to the end. They finished well. We will not forget what they did for us. ... We can stand beside you and share your grief. And we can pray that God will comfort you with a hope deeper than sorrow and stronger than death. May God bless you."

In the first sentence of Obama's memorial remarks, he made a joke — "I'm so glad I met Michelle first because she loves Stevie Wonder." This was a reference to Dallas Police Chief David Brown’s recitation of lyrics from Wonder's song. Obama left an uncomfortably long pause for laughter before resuming his remarks.

Excerpts from Barack Hussein Obama (full transcript here):

"Last Thursday, they were assigned to protect and keep orderly a peaceful protest in response to the killing of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge and Philando Castile of Minnesota.

"I know that Americans are struggling right now with what we’ve witnessed over the past week. First, the shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, the protests. Then the targeting of police by the shooter here, an act not just of demented violence, but of racial hatred.

"The deepest fault Philanderlines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened. ... Faced with this violence, we wonder if the divides of race in America can ever be bridged. We wonder if an African American community that feels unfairly targeted by police and police departments that feel unfairly maligned for doing their jobs, can ever understand each other’s experience. We turn on the TV or surf the internet, and we can watch positions harden and lines drawn and people retreat to their respective corners, and politicians calculate how to grab attention or avoid the fallout.

"I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem.

"Today in this audience, I see people who have protested on behalf of criminal justice reform grieving alongside police officers. I see people who mourn for the five officers we lost, but also weep for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

"When anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased, or bigoted, we undermine those officers that we depend on for our safety.

"We also know that centuries of racial discrimination, of slavery, and subjugation, and Jim Crow; they didn’t simply vanish with the law against segregation. ... America, we know that bias remains.

"African-Americans from all walks of life, from different communities across the country, voice a growing despair over what they perceive to be unequal treatment, when study after study shows that whites and people of color experience the criminal justice system differently. So that if you’re black, you’re more likely to be pulled over or searched or arrested; more likely to get longer sentences; more likely to get the death penalty for the same crime. ... We cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as troublemakers or paranoid. To have your experience denied like that, dismissed by those in authority, dismissed perhaps even by your white friends and coworkers and fellow church members, again and again and again, it hurts.

"We also know what Chief Brown has said is true, that so much of the tensions between police departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much and we ask too little of ourselves. As a society, we choose to under-invest in decent schools. We allow poverty to fester so that entire neighborhoods offer no prospect for gainful employment. ... We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book. ... And if we cannot even talk about these things, if we cannot talk honestly and openly, not just in the comfort of our own circles, but with those who look different than us or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.

"With an open heart, we can abandon the overheated rhetoric and the oversimplification that reduces whole categories of our fellow Americans, not just opponents, but to enemies.

"Just as we should hear the students and co-workers describe their affection for Philando Castile as a gentle soul. Mr. Rogers with deadlocks, they called him.

"America does not ask us to be perfect, precisely because of our individual imperfections, our founders gave us institutions to guard against tyranny and ensure no one is above the law.

"I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace."