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Hooper column: Asking the next generation to succeed where we have failed

 
Published July 10, 2016

My younger son posted that he's "waiting on the world to change, but our time is minimized more and more every day."

My older son posted, "my tear ducts have been put to the test."

They're 22 and 23, the age where innocence begins to give way to reality.

And they deserve better.

Our consternation about the murder of five Dallas police officers and the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling is rooted in what it means to the next generation.

People my age worry not about what may happen to them but what may happen to their sons and daughters.

We inherited a better world from our parents when it comes to race relations, but we haven't built enough on the foundation.

As Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, "It is on our watch that we have allowed this to continue to fester, that we have led the next generation down a vicious path of rhetoric and actions that pit one against the other."

Yet if you search for Rawlings' poignant comments, you find detractors looking to undermine his message of unity. The haters divide us with exaggerations, distorting how we see each other and fostering negative stereotypes.

We must have the difficult conversations across cultural lines and acknowledge our feelings, and find our common ground.

We must challenge the hate that may reside in our hearts. We have to recognize it's easy to find folks to confirm our worst thoughts.

We must be wiser about what we post and how we respond.

Most of all, we have to hold on to the hope provided by the next generation and ask them to succeed where we have failed.

That's all I'm saying.