By Brent McDougal
July 8, 2016
When I did my doctoral studies on Rwanda, the driving question I wanted to answer was, “How could a group of people do this to one another?” I wanted to know how there could be so much violence, even neighbor killing neighbor.
I was hoping to discover one key factor that would perhaps rise above the others. If that could be learned, perhaps future genocides in Africa and around the world could be prevented.
But the more I studied, the more I saw the way that a variety of factors came together to spark the genocide: historical tension, institutional support for the categorization and identification of citizens based on vague tribal differences, divisive ideologies and practices, economic hardship, and incendiary language, just to name a few.
As I have reflected on the tragedy in Dallas Thursday evening, I couldn’t help but think of Rwanda.
While we are not approaching the atrocity of genocide, many people are wondering, “How could this have happened?” and “How have we come to this?”
Five police officers in Dallas are now deceased, killed during an otherwise peaceful protest rally over the shooting deaths of two African-American males by police in Minnesota and Louisiana.
As in Rwanda, what got us here is the confluence of many factors. Read the rest at Cliff Temple Baptist Church.
Brent McDougal is an M.Div. graduate of Beeson Divinity School and is senior pastor of Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.