IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT IN DALLAS.
That’s when we failed you, dear children. When we broke our promise of a better world. When the bloody aftermath of a peaceful protest shattered all pretense of civility.
It happened on an American street in an American city. It happened in the twilight, in the open, without warning or provocation. Days, years, decades, lifetimes of struggles to welcome in our better selves were again rejected in a storm of bullets and shame.
This is your narrative, dear sons and daughters. This is the story we’ve written for you, the adults who were supposed to protect you, who were supposed to do better by you.
We promised you a beautiful sonnet – we gave you a tragedy.
One night in Dallas we saw too much. We cried too much. We bled too much.
We were Americans engaged in a peaceful protest. This was our right, our civic duty as involved citizens. It was an expression of conscience, not of color.
And then it came to confusion and horror. We ran. We scattered. We stood.
And we fell. We most certainly fell.
This is our legacy – bullets and blood. Hate and hopelessness. Fear and fracture.
This is our legacy, and we are sorry, so very sorry.
But don’t let it be yours.
Make a new tomorrow. Erase our mistakes and start over. Make it better. Make it work. And forgive us if you can.
I hope you can.
Because we are greater than that one night in Dallas. We are wiser than that one night in Dallas. And we are stronger because one night in Dallas must not define who are so much as it must remind us of what we must yet become.
I hope one day this will all be ancient history; that you will fix what we have broken. But please don’t forget, please remember it well — that one night in Dallas when it all went to hell.