Heroes Of The Week

George Floyd protesters embrace 'taking a knee' for race awareness ...

Yeah, it’s been a minute. I haven’t penned a Friday episode in several weeks, what with my platinum club guest hosts providing their sublime takes . . and then last week. When the world wasn’t making any sense. Again. And it didn’t feel right, to celebrate inside moments that possessed all the subtlety of a powder keg.

But Heroes is a keeping on kind of groove, and when I looked up from my trance I discovered a few stories that got me feeling hopeful all over again. Because as with any journey, you can always find a new beginning.

Imma dedicate this week to my friend Martin.

Texas Residents Defend Their Local Mall After Looting is ...

Peaceful protests across the country have been marred by acts of violence and looting that have coincided with the marches. And as proof that one has nothing to do with the other, a group of Killeen, Texas residents banded together recently to protect their local mall. After organizing a local protest march over the weekend, Reshard Hicks and Jonathan Hildner mobilized seventy five neighbors to stand guard outside Killeen Mall in order to guard against a possible incident.

“We showed everybody that Killeen can do something positive and not be destructive,” Hicks said. “To have somebody come in and ruin all that for us would have been very counter-intuitive to what we are trying to accomplish”

They’ve accomplished so very much already.

All David York and David North are saying is, give peace a chance. No . . check that. They aren’t just uttering those words, they are busy living the best life those words have to offer. This interracial Maryland couple doesn’t stand on convention, because to do such a thing is to remain in place. And for thirty years, these two have been much too busy building a life together to worry about rear view mirror concepts and designs. And during the pandemic, North even took to building a doorway he called the Doorway to Imagination. 

And it had his niece Kimberly Adams so smitten, that she just had to share it in a tweet for all the world to see. Adams is a correspondent for the public radio show Marketplace, and so you can imagine there was some big love going on in the Twitterverse after she did so.

This piece is symbolic of the union that York and North have forged, out of love and respect for one another. Because when they speak on matters of race, their perspective is all about the person rather than the color of their skin. Hate calls for sides to be drawn but love? Well . . love is love.

“And it’s not an argument,” North says. “It’s things that we can discuss because we love one another. And love has a way of dispelling fear. The work of love is more than just the people that we know, but even the people that we don’t know — that we all deserve love. We all deserve respect.”

I choose that door.

(Thank you to the lovely Dale for this beautiful story)

'They saved me': How protesters protected a lone cop, a moment captured in powerful photos

Officer Galen Hinshaw of Louisville, Kentucky found himself in the middle of an angry mob during a protest march recently. The thirty two year old was responding to a call when he removed himself from his cruiser in order to survey the scene. Within moments, he found himself surrounded. His baton, vest, helmet and body armor would be no match considering the fact that he was all alone. So he moved in front of a pizzeria, making sure to keep his back to the wall.

And then help arrived. Not his fellow officers, but rather a small band of protesters who came together and formed a human shield in order to protect Hinshaw. This band of five men consisted of three who were black, one white and one Dominican. Showing up when Hinshaw- who is half Pakistani- needed someone to be there for him. Because it didn’t matter to these five men whether Hinshaw was black or white or chartreuse. All that mattered was that he was a human being.

It’s all that should ever matter.

Chief of Department of the New York City Police, Terence Monahan, hugs an activist.

Us. It’s the hope, the unifying factor that can build bridges if we just took a moment to unplug from all the loudness. It requires that we take a deep breath, and drop any and all preconceived notions, and then just listen. And learn.

Police officers have joined this national movement, and the image I posted above shows Chief of Department of the New York City Police Terence Monahan hugging a protester in NYC. And while a picture is worth a thousand words, it possesses even more possibilities in this instance.

View image on Twitter

And there’s Jeri Williams, the Phoenix Police Chief marching in solidarity with protesters to police headquarters. Because she didn’t content herself with simply hearing the calls for change, she is intent on listening. And learning.

TOPSHOT-US-POLITICS-POLICE-JUSTICE-RACISM

And there you have police officers in Coral Gables, Florida kneeling during a rally in response to the murder of George Floyd . . .

police join protests

And there’s Camden County Police Chief Joseph Wysocki joining protests in Camden, New Jersey . . .

UPDATED:

And the officers who kneeled in front of the Spokane County Courthouse in Spokane, Washington . . .

There is a path forward from here. And it consists of swallowing some inconvenient truths. Because there is little comfort in changing the way things are, but the cost of not taking these steps and making these changes is too high a price to pay any longer. We need to be mindful of that dream my friend Martin had all those many years ago.

A dream deferred, but the hope is still very much alive.

69 thoughts on “Heroes Of The Week

  1. Dear Marco,

    I can’t see my screen for the tears that blur it. I hear the words sung by Buffalo Springfield, “Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong…A thousand people in the street, singing songs and they’re carrying signs, mostly say ‘hooray for our side…'” I’m sure I have the lyrics out of order which pretty much describes my internal workings this morning. Facebook is rife with conflicting views, opinions and “facts.” Now I read that BLM is an antisemitic organization. WTF. Just when I thought I understood. Now I realize I understand nothing. It seems to me that we’re whitewashing history…let’s only remember the parts that were politically correct, right? And then let’s repeat what we’ve forgotten. Do I sound angry? Guilty as self-charged.
    That being said, thank you for shedding some positive lights in the dark corners, my friend.
    And I leave you with a song from the 1960’s that’s sadly as relevant today as it was then.

    Shalom where there isn’t any,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You pulled out the best, Pilgrim. Stories such as these give us hope that if we all pull together maybe, just maybe we can overcome the hate and bigotry that seems to be solidified in our leadership today. One fine point too. If the city council of Minneapolis does away with the police department hopefully all the miscreants, thieves, murderers, rapists, and terrorists will move there. (It’s a thought) Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. B,

    I love that you’re back with your magnificent pen to share with us the beauty that is in the world (It’s no wonder you get the response from all that you do).

    That Killeen story is what needs to happen all over. When communities protect their communities, the few (and in the grand scheme of things, they are few, aren’t they?) miscreants have no where to go but back home – or here’s a thought… drop their nasty ways and join in the love-fest. It could happen, right?

    Are the two Davids not the most adorable couple, ever? Right down to their matching plaids and beards. What I loved about this story was that it touches on everything going on right now. And let’s face it, that door that doesn’t really go anywhere actually goes everywhere.

    I got chills reading the full story of five strangers, linking arms to protect a solitary man. In this case we need to mention that there were four different races involved because this is the story, isn’t it? Men banding together to protect a man. And maybe, just maybe, that’s how the story will be told in the future.

    Police men, women, chiefs, constables, insert rank (white or black or brown or whatever shade) hugging protesters, marching with them in solidarity, kneeling for them, joining them; letting them know they are heard that their voices are not raised in vain and that they (and we all) are working to change. We need to change. We must.

    Perfection, B. Your beautiful pen that weaves these stories together are manna from heaven.

    Love, Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      It was good to be back for this week. Heroes will be summering it up but it’s not going anywhere. Fridays just make sense going forward, and thank you for the support and encouragement. Muchly.

      Criminal behavior is the small percentage. Problem is, it gets the majority of the news coverage, which mitigates all the progress made by protests and conversation. Good on these kids for coming through. They get it.

      And how they talk about race and how it has become a wedge issue. They talk honestly and are not afraid to share their feelings on the subject. It’s a great example, for everyone.

      Yes it is the story. And before they decided to join arm in arm, they didn’t check to see what race they were. Or what race the officer was. They were ALL human beings.

      More cops get it than people realize. They are people too. When they canceled the show Cops, it brought a memorable episode to mind as I was just reading on this recently. The story of a cop, black, hesitating for one second and getting shot by a suspect as a result. People who have a whole lot of something to say about police work know not a damn thing about the realities of these men and women. I’ve spoken with a retired cop at length about what’s going on. He was sympathetic and supportive of the protests. He wants change too. But he understands, first hand, what the life looks like. Perspective. It’s everything.

      Thank you for being so lovely.

      Love

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • Summering it up isn’t a bad thing. And yes it does make sense. You know you have it. Always.

        This is true and why it’s so important to share when the good shines through. Just today I watched a video taken by a man showing all the black people looting a shopping square and the cops were just standing there doing nothing. This was a large square and it was sad to watch. You wonder what directives the police had been given, if any…

        Yes. They are. It’s the only way to move forward.. Honesty, sharing, listening.

        They never did check, did they? They just saw a person in need and one by one joined in. It’s a beautiful thing inside a very bad thing.

        Way more good cops than bad cops – see your remark above on where the news focus goes. We always assume the cops are quick to pull the trigger but in the case you mention, it can be deadly when they don’t. Perspective is everything.

        Thank you for being you.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do know it, and thank you.

          Things devolve quickly. To assess such a fluid situation is damn near impossible most times. Sadly. It takes a coordinated effort and these guys were more than happy to provide.

          THAT is the proper perspective right there.

          As I said, it really is the only thing that should matter.

          The cop in the George Floyd murder was arrested and arraigned quickly. No politics, no preferential treatment. Bad cops and bad choices will happen, but the reaction to and the ability to learn from it for future reference is vital.

          Right? Meet back atcha!

          Liked by 1 person

          • It goes both ways. Thank yous and you’re welcomes 🙂

            Yes. Let’s hope it inspires others.

            It is!

            Only thing.

            Yes. As it should always be. I saw a meme yesterday that expressed what I’ve been saying for years. Can’t remember it verbatim but it was saying a headline should read “A man was mistreated by a crooked cop” – both the black and white were crossed out.

            Sweet!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Both. Isn’t that what I say all the time? 🙂

            I do hope so. Because the idea that protests are being lumped in with the criminal activities is maddening, not to mention political in nature.

            I know it is.

            Yes the only thing.

            Race has nothing to do with whether a cop is good or bad, and to infer such a thing is in itself, racist.

            Ness.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It is. I coulda but then you’da accused me of stealing and then would have said I had a penalty to pay.

            They are definitely two separate “entities” and it burns my ace that they seem to occur in sync almost always.

            Yes and yes

            It has nothing to do with it and yes, just pointing out the race is making it an issue,.. which is the issue!

            MWAH!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Uh oh . . that sounds muy serioso.

            It’s the same with anything. People take advantage of something for their own self interests. Black, white, rich or poor . . it’s an unfortunate similarity. Good thing we have much more good stuff going on daily. Of course, the good stuff is mostly not televised.

            Yes

            You got that right.

            MUAH!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. The cops on my knees brought me to my knees having such mixed feelings about our men in blue, who too are so freaked out.
    My compassion during this Pandammit, protesting period has increased immeasurably. I feel for everyone, well, almost everyone. I don’t know about you but, I couldn’t give a damn right now about a Presidential election…I don’t care who’s running.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They’re in a tough spot, and I don’t envy them in the least right now.

      Pandammit . . . save THAT one, SB.

      And no, I ain’t feeling it in the least. I don’t care either. And maybe that’s wrong of us to say? Hell . . . I don’t care right now.

      Liked by 1 person

        • It’s been muted, which is understandable considering we’ve been under lock down for months. And now add the protests. And now add to that the concerns over a second wave of COVID.

          And so yes, the campaigning has been muted, sure. But it’s still relevant. Like you said, it’s about to begin. And how to reconcile this?

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Lots of positive vibes going on here. There are many who take their duty to protect and serve seriously. And it’s so good to see the people in charge listening and acting for improvement. I do get a little bugged when I see images like the Spokane one you showed. Do our nation’s police really need to be dressed like extras from Battlestar Gallactica? I think it contributes to a confrontational mindset. Us vs them. Let’s get back to uniforms and when needed, bulletproof vests. Let’s enter the scene as human beings together, not storm-troopers.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I think if you dress like you’re going to a riot, you shouldn’t be surprised when rioters decide to join the party. Those in such gear just look like they’re ready to use tear gas and rubber bullets (or, heaven forbid, real ones). And this on peaceful protesters. Police or security personnel (in t-shirts, for example) probably find the crowds to be much more docile than those dresses as thugs, reminiscent of an enemy army.

        Liked by 1 person

        • They are looking to do away with the use of rubber pellets and those beanbags they shoot into crowds, seeing as the use of them left two protesters with brain damage recently. Because yes, when you give a crowd no quarter, what do you think is going to happen?

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you! My head spins with all that has happened this year.
    This helps spin the positive, which we all need.
    On top of everything, there is a new Ebola outbreak in DR Congo. I seem to remember the USA under Obama’s admin helped lead the way to contain it.
    Who’s going to lead now?

    Liked by 1 person

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