Sir Thomas Paine, abolitionist wrote in The Crisis, in 1776, a pamphlet related to the Revolutionary War, several quotable statements that are appropriate for today.
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value….
… ‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them.
I woke up Friday morning and turned on the radio next to my bed to hear the news and the weather for the day. I knew it was going to be another hot and humid summer day. I didn’t expect to hear that five police officers where shot by a sniper during a protest march in Dallas, Texas as I slept. I felt like 1968. I remember the tension of all the adults around me during the year. King had been killed. There were riots in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Newark, and Washington, D.C.. Andy Warhol, and Robert Kennedy were also murdered that summer.
I checked into social media and could read the angst of all my friends. We were all still saddened by how our country is feeling overall after the deaths of two more of a long list of African American men killed by police officers. Facebook is ablaze with hate and misinformation. It was a good time to cull the list of those insensitive, or disrespectful on my list.
The next day my phone and email “blew up” from request to speak on the subject. Both international media and associated press reporters that know I am a representative from all the groups, African American, law enforcement, gun rights activist and clergyman wanted my slant on the issues. I am grieving. People died. The protests have begun. The rest are plotting how to use it to their advantage.
I don’t want to use this tragedy for anything other than to comfort my countrymen. I didn’t return a lot of calls. The ones I did got my honest, even conflicted statements. I am still getting “hit up” for commentary. I know it is part of the cycle but I want to get off this ride.
Good people will be labeled bad. I advise my friends to tune out to the negativity and heal. Don’t let the media run the loop of hate and discord. Racism is a low hanging fruit. Our nation has not healed from its racist origins. There is a minority of people that won’t let it. And that minority gets heard during these times. You don’t need that “crap” in your head.
Like you I am watching and waiting. I am still comforting others, and praying. I am keeping track of my friends.
I would rather walk in the dark with a friend than alone in the light – Helen Keller
I operate this blog and use my podcasts to share, inspire and entertain. But lately my inspiration has come from the people I call friends. I feel your angst. We will get through this too.
Rev. Kenn Blanchard
Rev. Kenn Blanchard is a professional speaker, writer, podcaster, and digital influencer. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook He is the force behind BlackManWithAGun.com, founder of Blanchard.Media and the SpeaklifeChurch.net