What lessons can we learn from Baton Rouge?
What message can we take from Dallas, Texas?
Could it be that training people to be soldiers,
and teaching them how to maim and kill
has potential downsides?
That the right to bear arms
makes nobody safe?
That turning local police into paramilitary thugs
does little to keep the peace?
That supplying local police with military equipment
encourages them to treat people as the enemy?
That racism, exploitation and xenophobia
are the problem not the solution.
Have Black Americans decided that there’s more to life
than being a target for police officers?
Will we heed the lesson?
Will we stop and reflect?
Do we want a peaceful world?
Are we willing to embrace those less fortunate than us?
Will we act in solidarity?
Will we recognise others humanity?
Do we have the courage to address past injustice?
Will we make reparation?
Or will we clutch at our privilege
and stick to business as usual?
Written in 2016.
Copyright © 2022 John Tomlinson