Analysis: KELVIN ESIASA
THE lamentation that President Barack Obama shared during the memorial Service at Dallas cannot go without picking key lessons that are vital for building peace in the global community. The recent killing of five police officers in Dallas has left many Americans very devastated.
People are now wondering if the recent shooting at the police officers in USA is now a new war that America should start fighting against. There are many lessons that can be picked from President Obamaâ€™s speech at the memorial service.
The first lesson is that we should value the lives of policemen and women who guard us day in, day out. During the memorial service Obama said: â€œScripture tells us that in our sufferings, there is glory, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Sometimes the truths of these words are hard to see. Right now, those words test us because the people of Dallas, people across the country are suffering. Weâ€™re here to honour the memory and mourn the loss of five fellow Americans, to grieve with their loved ones, to support this community, and pray for the wounded, and to try and find some meaning amidst our sorrow.â€
Secondly, we should respect the police and make their job easier. As Obama said, like any police officers across the country, the men that died in Dallas shared a commitment to something larger than themselves. They werenâ€™t looking for their names to be up in lights. But they wanted to protect the innocent and weak in society so that society became safer for everyone. So this teaches us that we need to respect the men and women in uniform so that they perform their job diligently.
Thirdly, we should unite when calamity strikes the community. During the shooting in Dallas, the Americans, both black and white, united to save lives. President Obama told the mourners: â€œDuring the shooting everyone was helping each other, one witness said. And it wasnâ€™t about black or white. Everyone was picking each other up and moving them away. See, thatâ€™s the America I know. The police helped Shetamia Taylor as she was shot trying to shield her four sons. She said she wanted her boys to join her to protest the incidents of black men being killed.â€
Fourthly, we should not expect too much from the police. As Obama puts it, the police are human like any other person. Community should not expect all the best from the police and shift the personal responsibilities to the police. Obama told the congregants that communities are flooded with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a gun than get his hands on a computer or even a book. And then we tell the police, â€œYouâ€™re a social worker; youâ€™re the parent; youâ€™re the teacher; youâ€™re the drug counsellor.â€ We tell the police to keep those neighbourhoods in check at all costs and do so without causing any political blowback or inconvenience; donâ€™t make a mistake that might disturb our own peace of mind. And then we feign surprise when periodically the tensions boil over.
In conclusion Obamaâ€™s address to the mourners at Dallas is a wake-up call to everyone and encouragement that we should all wake up and protect our communities. We cannot take the blessings of a nation for granted. Only by working together can we preserve family and community, rights and responsibilities, law and self-government that is the hallmark of the nation. We should make our righteous anger be transformed into more justice and more peace.
The author is president, Zambia Society for Public Administration and Society for Family Business.
Analysis: KELVIN ESIASA