|Texas Blue Bonnets|
I came to Dallas in 2010. I've lived in many places throughout the United States, including Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Alaska, but Dallas has been one of my favorite places to live. It's affordable, family-friendly in the best sense, and people here tend to be kind and polite to strangers in a way you don't always see in other places. You may have seen the pictures the Dallas PD posted before the shooting, of police officers posing for pictures with the Black Lives Matter protesters, everyone smiling and peaceful. That might surprise people, but it doesn't surprise me. That's Dallas. You may have seen the video of a Black Lives Matter protesters encountering a counter-protest, and everyone hugging each other, praying together, and agreeing to stand together. That's Dallas (in fact, I know one of the people in that video).
There's a lot of things people complain about when it comes to Dallas. The city is highly stratified between rich and poor, and it does get crazy, crazy hot here. The school system has plenty of problems, including huge inequality. But in terms of the kindness and generosity of the people here, I can honestly say it's one of the best places I've ever lived. I'm horrified that the shooter (I won't mention his name--these people deserve to be forgotten) targeted our city, and our people, and our police for his hate.
But I know that Dallas isn't going to fall apart because of one angry, hateful person. Dallas is stronger than that. Our police department is a model for the rest of the country in terms of reducing police shootings and complaints of police brutality. I hope, I believe that progress will continue. Our mayor and police chief gave some beautiful speeches about our city and its police, and I hope you read about them. This tragedy doesn't have to divide us if we don't let it. Black Lives Matter. It's important that we train police officers to deescalate situations, for their own safety and for the sake of the people they serve and protect. And it's important that we recognize that most cops are good, decent people who are trying their best to do a difficult, sometimes dangerous job. When the bullets started flying, they protected the people around them. We can appreciate their heroism even as we ask them to do better.
Dallas has been attacked, but we're still here, and we can stand together.