OPINION

Geraldo Rivera: We cannot allow this atrocity to escalate into a Civil (Race) War

Dallas police and residents near the scene where five police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016.

Dallas police and residents near the scene where five police officers were shot and killed on July 7, 2016.  (2016 Getty Images)

While in Europe on a family vacation, we got word in our early morning that a fifth police officer had died in Dallas, which made this dreadful incident the worst single act of cops being murdered since 9/11.

This particular atrocity cannot be allowed to escalate into a Civil (Race) War, no more than the unspeakable slaughter by Omar Mateen in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando a month ago was allowed to slide into an anti-Muslim witch hunt.

- Geraldo Rivera

Those who are outraged, as every single decent human being should be, by innocent black men like Alton Sterling and Philando Castile dying needlessly in confrontations with cops, must now be at least as outraged by the willful slaughter of these innocent Dallas cops at the hands of an urban terrorist. 

Because make no mistake: When you assassinate a cop, you are a terrorist, just like that cross-dressing, radical Muslim douche in Orlando was a terrorist, just like the miscreant in Sandy Hook, the twisted Washington D.C. sniper, the despicable Ft. Hood killer Major Hassan, the Boulder Planned Parenthood survivalist butcher, the Aurora movie theater psycho and so forth and so on. 

They are all terrorists of one stripe or another.

Twenty-five year old Micah Xavier Johnson of Texas was not an advocate for civil rights or racial justice. He was not a protester against the police violence in Minnesota or Louisiana. He was a terrorist, and he has made it more likely, not less, that innocent black men will die in police confrontations because of fear and anger.

President Obama must shepherd the nation the way he did after the Charleston, South Carolina church slaughter by the KKK-loving punk hate-monger a year ago. We need to hear an unequivocal Amazing Grace sung to mourn the death of white cops. We need to chill on both sides of the racial street. 

Obama must comfort the families of the fallen officers in Dallas like he did the families of the slain parishioners in the Mother Emanuel Church.

In the wake of Dallas, the president needs to caution the Black Lives Matter movement that Blue Lives also Matter, and White and Asian and everybody else. 

This particular atrocity cannot be allowed to escalate into a Civil (Race) War, no more than the unspeakable slaughter by Omar Mateen in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando a month ago was allowed to slide into an anti-Muslim witch hunt.

And our reaction to these evil deeds in terms of grief, shock and outrage should be the same. It is the identity of the victim that causes our grief, not the identity of the vile schmuck that killed them. That is just a detail for law enforcement to track down whether others were involved or reveal how perhaps the horror could have been averted or mitigated.

What we will eventually be forced to confront is the obscene availability of weapons in America. In a nation that has more guns than people, and people have more heavy assault-style weapons than the armies of many countries, you can pick your pathology. 

In the urban inner city for example, there is also an intramural civil war going on. 

More than one black man a day has been killed in Baltimore since the death in police custody of Freddie Gray. Our Second Amendment protects the gun rights of way too many dysfunctional, aberrant personalities. Some of these freaks will be motivated by religious hatred, others by race. Over time, those two defining characteristics – race and religion – and their bitter twisted legacies have been the motive of more terrible violence than greed or even the lust for power.

But be reminded by the savage murders of the cops in Texas that the racial divide is a huge chasm separating us in this country. As we focus on the threat from Islamic extremist violence, or other threats to our unity and civility, we must pay attention to this profound and festering homegrown wound.

Geraldo Rivera currently serves as a roaming correspondent-at-large for Fox News Channel. He joined the network in 2001 as a war correspondent.

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