Dallas and Beyond

           The Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County stands in solidarity with the people of Dallas, Texas as we extend our sympathy, prayers and concern to the families of the police officers who were murdered or injured in the unjustifiable shooting that erupted at the conclusion of a peaceful protest.
            We admire and praise the Dallas Police force for its swift action in protecting the protesters at the expense of their own well-being.  The march was characterized by protesters and police alike as peaceful.  Police and protesters worked together with good humor and mutual cooperation.  We hope the violence underscores the necessity for responsible citizens and police to work together for what is right and just.
  In the immortal worlds of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Hate begets hate; violence begets violence.”  Violence must not end the long march to a just and peaceful society.
            We continue to call for meaningful gun safety legislation, assuring the right of all to live in peace.  So soon after the tragedy in Orlando, we grieve anew with the families of those who lost loved ones.
   While nonviolent rage, anger and lament are valid expressions in times like these, we also call on communities around the country to start meeting with their local police departments to discuss how to work together to make our communities safer for all.  We continue to call for police, especially those serving communities with people of color, to engage in fair policing policies insuring the safety of all.  We continue to call for all those reforms by which all citizens can participate in the political and social life of our Nation without discrimination.  While nothing justifies the fatal violence we lament in Dallas, we must not hesitate to confront the causes of violence that is all too frequently a substantial part of life in our Nation and World.
            For the moment we stand in prayerful solidarity as we commit ourselves anew to that justice that makes peace possible.