Dallas shooting: Obama urges US to 'reject despair


President Barack Obama has urged the US to “reject despair” as he paid tribute to five police officers killed during a deadly sniper attack in Dallas.

He told a memorial service in the city the US must “try to find some meaning amidst our sorrow” and could unite.

His trip came amid mounting racial tensions across the country.

Micah Johnson killed the Dallas officers at a protest held over the recent police shootings of African Americans in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Before he was killed by police, he said he was angry about the shootings.

Meanwhile, protests over excessive police force against black Americans have been held in cities across the US.

But speaking at Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas on Tuesday, Mr Obama urged the country not to despair.

Americans are struggling with what has happened in the past week, he said, and events appeared to have revealed “the deepest fault line of our democracy”.

“I’m here to say we must reject such despair. I’m here to insist that we are not as divided as we seem.”

He honoured the bravery of police officers and said fewer people were being mourned at the service because of the courage of the officers killed.

The service featured five portraits of the officers and five empty chairs.

Ex-President George W Bush, a Texan, praised the police: “Their courage is our protection and shield.”

And Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who spoke first, said: “The soul of our city was pierced.”

First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will also meet privately with the families of the victims on Wednesday.



This was a very great speech Obama gave! He walked tried to walk a fine line although I think he really had some harsh words for “black life matters”.

Really interesting was that he quoted 3 Bible verses. I quickly found them:

  1. Romans 5:3-4
    Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

  2. John 3:18
    Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

  3. Ezekiel 36:26
    I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.


It was an excellent speech.

The whole ceremony was quite moving. Very touching at the end when President Bush reached out and took Michelle Obama’s hand and then the whole audience joined hands.


I only caught the speeches of President Bush, the Dallas police chief and President Obama. I was impressed by all three. Although the levity of the police chief surprised me at first, as he continued I could see the value of lifting spirits and bringing a smile. All three speakers handled well this painful memorial service.


Another perspective: After almost 8 years in office, surely Mr. Obama owns some of that “despair” of which he spoke. From his speech one would have thought that the man standing next to him was still president.


I thought the Chief did great, too.


I didn’t hear the speech, but thanks for the Bible Verse references. Interesting.


Indeed, excellent. It is really hard to walk the fine line, but Obama did it masterfully. Of course, there was criticism from both the right and the left, but who cares. You cannot please everybody; only those with open ears will lend them to you.



I thought is was one of his better speeches, most of us “thought” that was more in line with how he should have been speaking as a US Pres right along. It could have been better, more on point had he not reverted to a few points of controversial politics. To me I
find it inappropriate and especially at an event of this magnitude where heros died. It shows a sense of being disconnected from a distant reality and absorbed and obsessed with a distraction to the main point. I wonder had he been there that fatal night had that disconnected optic been included, I would have to say no.

“The pain we feel may not soon pass, but my faith tells me that they did not die in vain”

Mine too.

“They were upholding the constitutional rights of this country.”

“First Amendment” peaceful protest, and if theres no agreement about that there IS no talk about the second. Because that TOO is a constitutional right protecting the first. So yes I found that off in a otherwise very good speech. Here…

This is — the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed, perhaps even widened.

What was exposed was the truth of above and the fault resides in not understanding what we in fact live by here. And thats ALL of US. And if we don’t uphold the first all of us, then the second isn’t a discussion. The fault which we discovered is an attempt to exploit the first by social media with NO responsibility to a group, but only individuals. Its a new animal and won’t succeed as it results in violent protest-death and is unacceptable-period.

When anyone, no matter how good their intentions may be, paints all police as biased, or bigoted, we undermine those officers that we depend on for our safety. And as for those who use rhetoric suggesting harm to police, even if they don’t act on it themselves, well, they not only make the jobs of police officers even more dangerous, but they do a disservice to the very cause of justice that they claim to promote.

And when you threaten to assault police on social media like in person you should be arrested. Just like Obama spoke from a disconnected distance so do they and that does not change the responsibility because you not there in person.

And in the process, we’ve been reminded that the Dallas Police Department has been at the forefront of improving relations between police and the community.
The murder rate here has fallen. Complaints of excessive force have been cut by 64 percent. The Dallas Police Department has been doing it the right way.

Biden with his systemic white policing legal system myth gets a D.


I’m not sure I see how this line from Obama’s speech was expected to unify anyone.

“We flood communities with so many guns, that it is easier for a teen to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book,”

Setting aside the simple fact that the statement is wrong (libraries have both books and computers, and don’t require FBI background checks), didn’t Obama stop to think that there might be a few NRA members at a memorial for police officers?


Such a good speech, he only referred to himself 45 times.


One of the better speeches I have heard him give, but I wish he’d urged America to reject despair in 2012. We’d have a different President.


When one has an agenda they do not miss any opportunity to espouse it no matter how inappropriate the venue. The speech was very well done until he just could not keep himself for bringing politics into it. As we say in the south, tacky.


George Bush caused a bit of an uproar on social media by dancing and singing and smiling during the singing of the Battle Hymn of the Republic at the memorial, when everyone else was somber and serious. It was goofy looking and somewhat inappropriate but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he was just moved by the spirit.

Watching the video of this today though, I was struck by something else. When George first starts singing and swaying, Michelle looks taken aback and turns to President Obama with a “What the heck?” look on her face. He looks over and sees George and immediately starts singing and swaying a bit himself. That is so sensitive and kind and such a glimpse of his true character. He knew everyone was watching and that he could get criticized for this but he was trying to help out George-to make a possibly embarrassing moment for George less embarrassing by joining in. True class. (Poor Laura looks mortified though.)

I don’t think we’re allowed to post videos but if you google “Bush dancing” it’s all over the internet.



there’s a controversy afoot involving “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” To wit, former President George W. Bush is being criticized for swaying just a little too zestily during a rendition at Tuesday’s memorial service in Dallas for five police officers killed -Atlantic


everyone else was able to make short speeches of 5 minutes and memorialize the fallen officers. not Obama. he doesn’t know when to be quiet. I just kept talking and talking and talking. I read he referred to himself something like 40 times in this speech.
I agree with you. Obama does own some of this despair. He would be the last person I would want there. His last day in January cannot come fast enough!!!


If Obama had said in 2008 Americans need to reject despair he would not of gotten elected


We went from ‘Hope and Change’ to ‘Obama’s Change Brings Despair’


Besides lying and making a laughably stupid comment about Glocks and books, it takes a truly blind or evil man to lecture the family and children of five dead officers about how racist and terrible police officers are.

It was a fine speech until Obama’s true colors showed through.



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