The attempted coup in Turkey failed. However, it did not fail before hundreds of people were killed in the attempt. This attempted coup comes on the heels of the terrorist bombing at a major airport in Turkey. Two African American men were fatally shot by police in the respective cities of St. Paul, Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana only a day apart. Both killings were caught on camera. Five police officers were shot and killed in Dallas, Texas in the same week as the killings in St. Paul and Baton Rouge. The gunman was seen killing one of the officers on video tape. We are told that a bomb was used to kill the gunman. We are also told that the gunman killed the officers in retaliation for the killing of the two African Americans. Other police shootings have taken place since these tragic events. Other shooting not involving the police took place since these tragic events. They have made local headlines all across the country.
Nice, France was hit by a terror attack on July 14, 2016, after the celebration of Bastille Day which is France’s equivalent to America’s Fourth of July celebrations. As of this writing, 84 deaths were caused by a truck driven by a delivery truck driver. The driver intentionally drove into a crowd of people leaving the Bastille Day celebrations. We are led to believe that it was a terrorist attack just like the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida which resulted in the death of more than fifty people. The body count continues to rise in relationship to these types of attacks. In the Nice and Orlando attacks, the individuals seemed less than highly trained warriors who had been given specific orders from a central command. Nevertheless, it appears that they used Jihad as a cover for more deep-rooted problems in their personal lives. Perhaps the FBI, NSA, and CIA will not find any type of communications specifically linking the two individuals to a central terrorist command post. What we are witnessing is telepathic terrorism. Until as such time as science finds a way to intercept human thought, it will be very difficult to thwart the “lone wolf” or “stray dog” attack. Moreover, although the “lone wolf” or “stray dog” attacker may not be a highly trained operative, such an individual can still wreak havoc on an unsuspecting public. If the ultimate goal of such attacks is to kill the infidel, such a goal cannot succeed. It is impossible to kill the whole world. Nevertheless, such a reality does not lessen the pain and sorry of those who fall victim to such attacks.
Headlines on the political front still are assessing the Brexit vote. Great Britain substituted one Prime Minister for another. The replacement Prime Minister is England’s second woman to hold the position. Whether or not this is a positive sign for Hillary Clinton in the United States remains to be seen. Donald Trump selected his vice presidential running mate, Governor Pence of Indiana. It is clear that the Republican Party is putting forth an extreme right wing agenda for the country. The Trump campaign is employing all the old right-wing clichés such as “the Silent Majority.” Trump also says that he will be “the law and order candidate.” This is a subtle slight against the Black Lives Matter Movement. Many on the right are trying to demonize Black Lives Matter by calling them a racist hate group. This brings to mind the fact that during the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King was labeled a Communist. In the1960s, to be called a Communist was the equivalent of being labeled as a “terrorist” in 2016. Not only was Dr. King labeled a Communist, but the entire Civil Rights Movement was said to Communist inspired.
The Gospel of Luke says that “Men’s hearts will fail because of fear.” Not only can one’s heart fail due to fear, but one’s common sense can take flight also. Yet, I am somewhat confused. How is it that in the land of the free and the home of the brave, there is so much fear? Should we cease singing the national anthem? On the other hand, we are told by Gospel of John to “let not your heart be troubled.” This is the message that President Obama was trying to impart when he said, “We are not divided as we seem.” President Obama also stated that “We must not let them divide us.” These awful headlines are caused by some extremely heinous acts. Heinous acts are not new. However, in this age of social media and a twenty-four hour news cycle, everything seems to happen right at our fingertips and totally within our eyesight. The worst appears to be constantly knocking at our front door. All I can say is the next time we are driving, ponder that philosophical message in the right blind spot, “Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear.” On the other hand, they may not.
Anthony Neal earned his Ph.D. in political science at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Dr. Neal is an associate professor at State University College, Buffalo. The author of numerous book reviews and journal articles, he has had his work published in the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Black Studies, and Black Issues in Higher Education. In 2014 Dr. Neal received the university’s Faculty Appreciation Award, was named Instructor of the Year by the university’s United Student Government, and Professor of the Year by the Student Political Society in the Department of Political Science. In 2015, he published The American Political Narrative which is a succinct yet poignant narrative about the development of the American political system and what is needed to maintain it. In 2016, he will publish a book of poetry entitled “Love Agnostic | from 9/11 to Charleston”
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