Our Nation In Crisis

07/11/2016 12:43 pm ET Updated Jul 12, 2017

This nation is currently in crisis -- one so terribly familiar from previous centuries, and one that we must act upon now... before it grows even more severe than it already is.

Despite the black community's desperate calls for justice in the wake of record killings of unarmed men and women -- from young men like Sean Bell on the morning of his wedding back in 2006 to other citizens such as Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, and Philando Castile on ordinary days in 2016 -- police officers who commit crimes have remained above the law. Indeed, not since the turn of the century, when lynching headlines were all too regular, has this nation taken so little action to remedy the killing of African American citizens at the hands of those with privilege, power and the authority of a badge.

And, once again, just as it did in that last century as well, African Americans have utterly lost faith that justice can be found in the legal system. Too many African American mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children can barely breathe under the weight of what has become a bone-deep sense of frustration and hopelessness.

In this terrible moment as in the last, a catastrophic loss of faith has inspired entire communities across America to gather together, and to march -- peacefully but forcefully -- in the hope that the killings will stop. They have prayed that their sheer numbers in the streets, and the sheer depth of their collective pain, will finally move someone to stop the killings.

And tragically, in this historical moment just like the last as well, a tiny few who have lost of faith have turned to reactive and retributive violence.

And so now the families of seven officers are also in grips of agonizing, horrific, despair.

The nation is now at a crossroads.

Only one question now really matters. Will this new level of collective trauma--now suffered so acutely not only by many hundreds of black families America, but also by law enforcement families in cities such as Dallas--lead to real change in this country, or will this national crisis just deepen?

We must all insist that it does. Immediately