MSNBC's Joy Reid: Victims Of Police Shootings And Police Officers Killed In Dallas “Are Both Our Fellow Citizens”

Reid: The Gunman In Dallas Police Deaths “Is The Enemy Of Black Lives Matter” And “Of Those Who Believe In Justice And Peace”

From the July 8 edition of MSNBC's MSNBC Live:

Video file

JOY REID: If you go back to the origins of why the group organized that march in the first place, is that people feel a profound sense of passion and compassion for the families of the dead. Whether those are people who are civilians who were killed in a routine traffic stop, which is what sparked these protests; somebody who was selling CDs outside of a store, a store owned by a friend; or whether it's these police officers' families. I think that we have to be able to get to a point in the country where we can keep in our minds these two thoughts at the same time, that we feel compassion for the dead who are civilians, who are the victims of police-involved shootings, and we feel compassion for the dead who are police and their families. That these two are both our fellow citizens and that we feel equal measures of compassion for both. And I think that the fact that we sort of begin to divide along the lines of which side you're capable of feeling compassion for is the problem. And I think what you're seeing in the people in Dallas is that they don't have that problem with that dichotomy. They actually understand that both profound losses are felt by the children, by the mothers, by the friends of the dead, and that we have to feel that compassion for both.

BRIAN WILLIAMS (HOST): You can agree or not that what these seven deaths have in common is they were assassinations of a kind. That's one argument. What most people would have to agree on is that they are united by their senselessness. 

REID: Yeah, absolutely. Exactly. And that the jarring, wrenching loss and the suddenness of it. In this case the calculation behind it. And the idea, I think we also have to remember too, is that when you have somebody that is that kind of a marksman, that goes out with that kind of lethality to harm specific individuals and to do it, that we also have to have a conversation about the larger context we have been having about things like gun control, have been that, well a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. What do we do about this kind of lethality of somebody who is trained to do this and then uses that training against sworn officers of the law? So this has so many layers of terror involved in it. I think we have to start to get our heads around all of those aspects. 


REID: And the thing is that in the first term of the Obama administration, there was an attempt made by the administration to study the effects of people coming back from the war and whether or not there needs to be special attention paid. We should make the point that the vast majority of returning veterans come back and are incredibly productive members of society, come back and are working to better the country that they served; but that you do have a small number of people who come back who we're doing enough to look at the profound psychological impact of death. Of causing death and of seeing death all around them, of being involved in war, in some cases multiple deployments, multiple tours. And we had an objection, a political objection to even studying that. We're not allowed to even talk about it because it immediately became politicized because it came from this president. We have to begin to study all of the aspects of gun violence that include paying special attention to our combat veterans and are they getting the psychological help they need? Are they getting the assistance they need? It's all of those aspects that we have to talk about. In the case of Dallas, we need to also talk about open carry. The threat that came to a perfectly innocent man who was splashed across the media as a potential suspect, and who police had a right to be frightened, seeing somebody who to them looked like they could be a threat.

WILLIAMS: Had an AR-15 over his shoulder.

REID: Exactly, had an AR-15, but this is a state where that is allowed, and where we've had this debate when we're not even allowed to study or talk about what would that mean if we're going to allow that kind of open carry nationwide. And I think that we have do also have to go back and have the underlying conversation that the people who marched in Dallas for the compassion for those two civilians who were killed. So within a 72-hour period, we've had three sort of pockets of profound and shocking death. They were there for the right reason, and that it is right to feel for the families, that 15 year old boy that was wailing for his daddy had the right to also have the outpouring of compassion that you saw among those protesters, that that was the right thing to do, and that the person who committed this atrocious act against police is the enemy of Black Lives Matter, is the enemy of those who believe in justice and peace for the families of those killed by police. They are the enemy of Black Lives Matter, because they're causing more fear among police. They are causing more alarm among police. They're actually making the situation worse. So let's not try to connect this kind of violence to that outpouring of compassion that you saw with those marchers. 


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