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Editor's Note

Have we always been a nation divided?

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Maybe we were fooling ourselves. I'm thinking back to before Barack Obama was first elected president. At the time, most of the country seemed to think that racism was a thing of the past—unless, of course, you experienced it firsthand. Some say electing an African-American president was what unleashed something once hidden in our society, but I think that's just something we tell ourselves.

When it comes to police brutality against people of color, the real game changer hasn't been an increase in those murdered, but the fact that most people have cell phones that are equipped with cameras.

Now we live in a world where everyone has to face the reality that's existed for different communities for decades.

However, it does seem like we are a country more divided than ever before. Does the tragedy in Dallas have anything to do with that? Perhaps. But it's also the reaction that people have had to the Black Lives Matter movement since its inception—continuing to neglect the importance of this movement and deflecting it with such ridiculous terms as All Lives Matter.

Hopefully, this isn't a turn in the Black Lives Matter movement that destroys the work before them, and incidentally, the work before all of us. Hopefully, this isn't a turn that creates more division that is activist vs. police. It doesn't have to be that way, nor did it ever have to be that way, even if the tragedy in Dallas never occurred. But it does have to be about making a change in how we continue to address race in this country and how we address police violence.

The worst thing that could happen now is all the lives taken up to this point are just wasted and that we hold on to division, rather than opening hearts and mind to change. The worst thing that could happen now is to think that Black Lives Matter is a movement means nothing at all when actually it could be the most important thing we have at this very moment.

— Mari Herreras, mherreras@tucsonweekly.com


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