Tom Pennington/Getty Images News/Getty Images

President Obama's Dallas Memorial Address Was Important For This One Reason

Ad failed to load

I'm just going to say it: You can think whatever you want to want to about our president, but Obama's Dallas memorial address was spot on and important in so many ways. Following Dallas police chief David Brown's address, which ended with a lovely recitation of Stevie Wonder's "As," Obama got right to the heart of the issues that have taken so many lives, whether they are black, white, or police in "blue." What was so on point about his address was that the president was able to honor, and connect, most importantly, law enforcement's struggle with the plight of Black Lives Matter.

Obama, like he often does, made it about the America he "knows," as he put it. That's the America I think most people know, an America where Black Lives Matter protestors and Dallas police walked the same streets on Thursday night, peacefully, until a lone shooter went on a rampage, exposing "the deepest fault lines of our democracy," as Obama said.

But Obama doesn't mince words and he wasn't just paying lip service to anyone. Not to the Dallas police department and not just to Black Lives Matter, as some people who can't see past their own hate didn't seem to grasp on Tuesday afternoon. Obama put both groups' actions in context in his address, acknowledging that this racial crisis, this violence, is about something bigger than memes and tweets and tributes. He talked about guns and race and uniforms versus citizens, without politicizing anything.

Ad failed to load

"We know those things to be true, they've been true for a long time. You know it. Police you know it, protestors, you know it," he said. "You know how dangerous some of these communities these police serve are. And you pretend as if there's no context? These things we know to be true."

Obama was able to rise above and look down at the situation and put it very clearly:

Ad failed to load

Then he got pretty freaking real, asking America, all of us, to be honest with ourselves. He said, "but America, we know that bias remains. We know it. ... we have all seen this bigotry in our lives at some point, we've heard it, at times in our own homes, if we're honest, we've heard it in our own heads."

Even on his way out of the White House, Obama asked America on Tuesday to put their "side" away. His address at the Dallas memorial reminded me of a beleaguered parent who has seen a teenager through depression and drug addiction and dropped them off at college, hoping for the best. The problems are latent and real and scary. The opportunity for change is tremendous. If America can remain honest, rise above rhetoric, and lower themselves into that very chilly pool of real dialogue, maybe change can happen.

Ad failed to load
Tom Pennington/Getty Images News/Getty Images
DALLAS, TX - JULY 12: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks during an interfaith memorial service, honoring five slain police officers, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. A sniper opend fire following a Black Lives Matter march in Dallas killing five police officers and injuring 12 others. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Obama admitting that bigotry — in all directions — can occur even in his own head is a big deal. It's why black Americans are scared to drive a car just over the speed limit. It's why cops are scared patrolling public housing. It's why people discriminate when it comes to employment and mortgage loans and bathroom usage and fight over the semantics of "black lives" versus "all lives" matter and no one on either side can get the other to see the difference. It's why everyone's backs seem to be up, all the time. All Americans seem to be — even in our most peaceful, hope-loving, hamburger and beer drinking hearts — scared of each other. The bigotry is so normal, it's almost mundane. Until you think about the people that are dead because of it and their families.

This normalcy, this bigotry, is an idea that's hard to talk about, because when we do, we admit our own faults and ignorance of "the Other's" experience, even broaching the subject. Americans should be thankful that our current president isn't scared to do that.

Ad failed to load
US President Barack Obama speaks during an interfaith memorial service for the victims of the Dallas police shooting at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on July 12, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. President Barack Obama attended a somber memorial Tuesday to five police officers slain in a sniper ambush in Dallas, as he seeks to unify a country divided by race and politics. / AFP / MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

What Obama said on Tuesday is not something that can be easily addressed over dinner and drinks in "polite company." The president today sort of admitted, what at least I, for one, secretly thought while watching cable news the past week, that what happened in Dallas was bound to happen, given the socio-political climate right now. The shooting in Orlando was bound to happen. The shooting at a Baltimore vigil for a teen gunned down in the street on Monday was bound to happen. Of course, it's scary and rage-inducing every time it happens. It shouldn't be that way, but it keeps happening. Americans can count each tragedy in Obama's grey hairs, with each speech, with each memorial, he becomes more stern and more hopeful all at the same time. That's something to admire, I think.

Until American politicians and communities can talk, openly and honestly, about what happens on American streets every day — and not just violence, but the little acts, the little things that build up and "boil over," in our heads and homes and walking around just doing our thing at Target — there's no way to move forward.

Ad failed to load

President Obama's address to Dallas was just that — open and honest and very, very real. Just as real as former George W. Bush's instinct to dance a little to "Hallelujah" at the end of the ceremony, I think. I like that our goofy, former president felt moved to sway and sing along to a choir after Obama's address.

Because that is the most authentic thing — feeling some love at a tragic memorial, front and center, and rolling with it. America is so big and so varied and everyone's experience is so different, but when people start to get honest and tackle the big questions and try to see things from the other side, change happens. I don't go to church, but, screw it, hallelujah.

Ad failed to load

Bias and racism and violence in America are real. So are good intentions, whether it's walking onto a highway in Baton Rouge or putting on a uniform to protect people who walk onto highways in Baton Rouge. Those good intentions don't always, in that cliché way, have to lead to hell. Americans should be humbled and embarrassed after last week's bout of violence. Americans should think about every bullet and every person affected by those bullets and think about where they came from and why. But something has to give.

As an American, I feel proud that our beleaguered president had the courage and insight to make it about the bigger picture. Americans should think long and hard about they want. And then demand it because this is an election year and it doesn't have to always be like this, right now.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s Bullsh*t

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

I’m Registered At Babies “R” Us, & I'm Freaking The Hell Out

Hi. My name is Abi, and I’m registered at Babies “R” Us — and I’m freaking out. This may sound silly, but after being a die-hard Toys “R” Us kid, I was so excited to register at their baby store once my husband and I finally got our big fat positive …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

Women Who Miscarry Early Deserve To Grieve — Here's How Hospitals Should Be Helping

When I lost my baby back in 2013, it was because of a very early miscarriage. Because of the little amount of time I spent being pregnant, it was though my child had never really existed, which made the next few years hard — I felt like they had been…
By Risa Kerslake

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

7 Reasons Why March Babies Are Total Badasses

From the moment you become pregnant, you begin to wonder what your little one will be like. Will they look like you, your partner, or your Great Aunt Edna? Will they be the quiet, thoughtful type or arrive on this planet raring to go? It's fun to ima…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

9 Easy Kid Foods To Turn Green, Just In Time For St. Patrick's Day

The best part about having kids is that you get your own personal crew to celebrate the holidays with, in all your color coordinating and matching glory. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, you are obviously working on turning everyth…
By Mishal Ali Zafar