Saturday, July 9, 2016

The New American Civil War: Leftists Against Conservatives; Black Lives Matter Against Blue Lives Matter; Protesters Against Police

It's #TNACW.

At the New York Times, "A Struggle for Common Ground, Amid Fears of a National Fracture":
Even as political leaders, protesters and law enforcement officials struggled to find common ground and lit candles of shared grief, there was an inescapable fear that the United States was being pulled further apart in its anger and anguish over back-to-back fatal shootings by police officers followed by a sniper attack by a military veteran who said he wanted to kill white police officers.

Just days after the United States celebrated its 240th birthday, people in interviews across the country said that the nation increasingly felt mired in bloodshed and blame, and that despite pleas for compassion and unity, it was fracturing along racial and ideological lines into angry camps of liberals against conservatives, Black Lives Matter against Blue Lives Matter, protesters against the police. Whose side were you on? Which victims did you mourn?

In a televised interview, the executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations blamed President Obama for waging a “war on cops.” On social media, others confronted the discrepancies in the everyday lives of black and white Americans, hoping understanding would lead to conversations and action.

Along the Las Vegas Strip, a sunbaked cross-section of races, backgrounds and political views, tourists and workers said the relentless parade of violence during the week had left them mostly in shock and disbelief. They worried that more would follow.

Police departments across the country took precautions, ordering officers to double up in their patrol cruisers and to work in pairs or teams. Civilians were also on guard. Trey Jemmott, an incoming freshman at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said his mother warned him to be careful before he left for the gym the other night.

“She always told me, being an African-American, you already have strikes against you,” he said. “I just feel like something’s got to change. We thought we were over this.”

At an outdoor food stand on the Strip, three co-workers — black, white and Asian — debated whether the bloodshed would lead to healing or deeper divisions as they talked about their own experiences with the police.

Martin Clemons, 28, said he and other black friends had been frisked for jaywalking across the Strip. Zach Luciano, 23, who is white, said he had never been stopped or had a negative run-in with law enforcement, and had considered becoming a police officer.

“There’s more good cops than bad cops,” Mr. Luciano said. “I wanted to be one of those good ones.”

What the three co-workers shared was a grim view that the country’s divides would not heal anytime soon.

“It’s sad, but this is what the world’s coming to,” Mr. Luciano said...