Racial tensions are higher than ever following the Dallas sniper attack earlier this month that killed five officers—four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer—and injured several others, and plenty of celebrities have taken to social media to express their feelings about the tragedy. “As someone with law enforcement in my family, I am just shaking,” tweeted television producer Shonda Rhimes. “Senseless. Horrific. Heartbreaking.” Actor Kevin Hart chimed in as well, tweeting, “Peace is the Message…‘An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.’”
The Dallas attack is believed to have been carried out in response to the rash of officer-involved shootings that have taken place across the country recently, involving black men being killed by police actions or while in police custody, including the recent killings of two black men, Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, by police in two days. Protestors were marching peacefully in downtown Dallas when the deadly attack began on July 7, and, after a lengthy standoff with police in a parking garage, the gunman, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, was killed by a Dallas police bomb squad robot. According to police, Johnson said he was upset by the recent police-involved shootings and specifically “wanted to kill white people.”
While some artists, like Solange Knowles, Scarface and Z-Ro, have released poignant protest songs or joined peaceful rallies in the wake of the Dallas shootings, drawing attention to growing tensions in the black community over police misconduct, rapper Lil Durk took it one step further and got a tattoo of the words “Black Lives Matter” inked on his forearm. On July 9, just two days after the Dallas shootings, Lil Durk posted a Snapchat video of the fresh ink on Instagram, along with the caption: “What’s going on today crazy to me in the world—we matter 2x.”
Lil Durk’s new tattoo features an image of a black fist with a crown at its base, surrounded by the words “Black Lives Matter,” a phrase that started out as a hashtag following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin in 2013, and became a nationally recognized movement following the deaths of two other African American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, in 2014. In the aftermath of the protests, riots and civil unrest resulting from the shooting death of Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, participants in the “Black Lives Matter” movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African American individuals by police.