Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CHALLENGE (08/17/17)
- TITLE: Intolerant
By Loni Bowden-Horn
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A battle of epic proportion was brewing in the City of Ann Arbor. A feud so bitter that it was sure to draw first blood. The situation that unfolded could have been compared with the rivalry that existed between the Michigan-Ohio State football teams.
The gauntlet had been thrown down at the city commission meeting when a group of vigilantes had requested a permit for a rally.
A man who represented the White supremacists stepped up to the podium.“We challenge any of you good for nothing races to try and prevent us from speaking. Our group will always reign supreme.”
Those vile comments from the man were like open sores oozing with pus. They festered in the hearts and minds of the local residents.
Them were fighting words to a community who would not remain silent toward intolerance or bigotry on any level.
No one could understand why the group of 17 White supremacists, Klu Klux Klan, and neo-Nazi members had transcended upon this town renowned for its liberal activism, but the locals vowed to stop them from ever coming back again.
The tension was palpable in the park where the rally was held. The police suited in riot gear and armed with tear gas stood by the Klansmen. Their presence was meant to prevent any skirmishes between the skinheads and the hundreds of protesters that had gathered.
The crowds pressed in behind a purpose-built fence, when someone noticed a white man with a Confederate T-shirt and a SS tattoo among them.
A woman with a megaphone shouted her accusation and pointed her finger in the man’s direction, “There’s a Klansman over there.”
As the man tried to get away, the angry mob gave chase.
He started to run, when cries of “Kill the Nazi” rang out, but he was knocked to the ground.
Protesters started to kick and pummel the man with wooden placards. As the blows continued to rain down, the bloodied man looked up in horror.
A local city official happened by and noticed the man’s distress but walked the other way.
My election is coming up soon and I can’t afford to lose any voters. Besides no one can blame me for not wanting to save this loser.
A clergy with his long-flowing robes came to the place where the man was pleading for help. The minister looked at him, turned away, and went in another direction.
My congregation would leave the church if they saw me assist this despicable human being.
A young African-American girl looked over at the man and saw he was hurting.
Someone has to step out of the pack and say this isn’t right.
The teenager threw herself on top of the stranger, and shielded his body from the harsh blows.
I felt like I was floating over him. It was if two angels had lifted me up and laid me down.
The young girl could not understand all of the fuss made over her actions.
She overheard a witness say, “She put herself at physical risk to protect someone who, in my opinion, would not have done the same for her, “he said, “Who does that in this world?”
A reporter came up to the girl and asked her name.
She answered, Keisha Thomas.
“Why did you save this man?”
My faith in God has played a large role in why I saved him. Jesus’ love can break down any barrier.
“I have experienced violence and that man did not deserve to be attacked. No one deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea. I wish someone would have stood up for me when I was beaten down.”
“Some moments have a way of defining us”, she said, “whether we’re ready for them or not.”
While Keisha never again met the man she protected, a teenager came up to her at a coffee shop and thanked her. When she asked the young man why he was thanking her, he simply replied,
“That was my dad.”
This story is loosely based on the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10:25-37.
Keisha Thomas is the young woman mentioned in the story. The incident that happened in Ann Arbor about the black girl protecting a KKK member is based on true facts. The quotes in the story were essentially in Keisha’s own words. The rest of the story is entirely fiction.
The witness was photographer Mark Brunner who captured with pictures this terrible ordeal..
www.nydailynews.com Story written by Sean Keane
Thank you to Pastor Dave Barringer at Kfirst for challenging our congregation to “Love from the Front Row”
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