As the nation still grapples with the violence of last week, President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush addressed the grieving attendees and nation, at a memorial for the five fallen Dallas police officers.
In his address, President Obama reminded the nation that racial bias still exists in America, but he did say he thought race relations had improved in his lifetime. The overarching message, however, was one of hope and not to buy into the idea that America is so divided because it’s not. In speaking directly about the fallen officers, he said, “We cannot match their courage, but we can match their devotion.”
He went on to say that his faith in God reminds him that the officers who sacrificed their lives for those peacefully protesting did not die in vain. You can watch a few of the President’s remarks below.
In his speech, President Bush said that too often it seems like the forces pulling America apart seems stronger than what should be uniting the country together. “Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions.” The quote instantly exploded online, with many lauding his remarks as just what the country needed to hear. You can watch the full remarks by President Bush below.
It is safe to say that many in the country continue to grapple with what has happened. Churches are not exempt from that, as many pastors and teachers addressed racial tensions from the pulpit and encouraged their congregations to look for ways to create change and have conversations in their communities.
But for now, the addresses from both Obama and Bush encourage us to search for hope in the toughest of times and to seek to treat those around us, no matter race, creed, sexuality or socioeconomic status, with dignity. Because no matter where we are with the Lord, all of us are a reflection of the Lord. We are Imago Dei.