The Catholic Defender Observes Black Lives Matter At Gardner Kansas
On 4 June, 2020, I was getting a hair cut when the barber promptly informs me that Saturday, June 6, 2020 Black Lives Matter was going to take their protest to Gardner Kansas. I was surprised to learn that information and I was concerned because of the protests we have watched on TV. Cities burning and being looted all across the country is a major concern. This protest was literally coming to about 200 yards from my front door. The damage in our country is extensive as many businesses are gone with nothing left to loot. I learned that over 600 police officers are resigning or retiring as a result of the carnage and lack of support coming from Democrat Governors and Mayors. To this point over 300 police officers have been injured in the violent protests.
I went to our police station just to find out more information and I was graced to speak with our police chief who did verified the information. He assured me that the event will be monitored and trailed through town.
The real concern was not with the local people in town, but the outsiders who might be bused into the event. That has been a major problem with many cities that suffered violence. I certainly did not want to see that come here in my own home town. We had just opened up a grocery store and I wondered what precautions they were going to make.
The night before the protest, on our Deepertruth Radio Show, "Trump For America" I made the decision that I was going to observe this protest and report on it. I have been a part of protests many times over Abortion and pornography as those are destructive happenings in our country, but this is greatly different. All Americans who have seen the George Floyd Story are appalled over what happened, that should be protested. That is an America right. However, a lot of the disorder, shock and awe, violence, looting, destruction of property, that divides people and should not be in the equation.
The morning of 6 June I conducted a morning radio show "Some Black Lives Matter, as All Lives Matter" and then prepared myself to head to the staging area for the march. I began meeting with people who were going to participate in their protest and was interested to see what they thought about the protest. Like myself, the small group I was talking with in front of City Hall was wondering what might happen with the protest, but they moved the staging area more to the water park where a number of people were assembling.
The police presence was well established as the organizers were signing participants up and giving them wrist bands to identify those participating with the protest. I was looking to see what local media might be present covering the event but I didn't see anyone there. I was really the only one that even acted like a media person. I wore my stetson and my pro-life runners shirt but I was not there to participate but to observe and cover the demonstration.
I had the chance to speak with people at the staging area and I was delightfully glad to see so many families there with their children. It felt more like a parish picnic more than a protest. Everyone I spoke with were from the local community. I was very happy with that and so are the local businesses, still some did board up their windows as a precaution to the potential violence coming from those bused in.
I was asked if I was going to participate in the protest and I responded no, that I was there to observe and report on the march.
I had only one encounter that was negative, there were three young people I asked if they believe "All Black Lives Matter" and they responded yes. I asked them if they had heard of David Dorn which they had not, I then asked them what the number one cause of death was among black people and they didn't know. When I told them it was Abortion, they got very upset, they did not believe Black Lives Mattered in the case of the child in the womb. I did find some who were pro-life, but some were not.
The march was about two miles and this was very peaceful, there were no issues that happened to the local community, nothing what we have seen on the news the past several days. I trailed behind following at close distance observing the police who were out defending the rights of the protest. They were also out passing out water as it was very hot.
I was very impressed with the organization of this demonstration. There were also traffic showing support honking horns in solidarity with the marchers. Others were taking pictures as those with smaller children would stop and make sure they were OK. I felt like the medic as I checked on those taking a break in their walk.
I did not see anyone raising their hands in the air chanting "don't shoot" or anything like that. There were no barriers that the police might set up as boundaries, I saw no hostilities throughout the March.
I prayed the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary using my Battle Rosary perfect for the occasion!
The March ended at the location from where it began with a talk from a Black Lives Matter Representative who had been a part of the Kansas City demonstrations. Unfortunately in Kansas City there were some damage and violence but not like what we have seen in other major cities like New York, The police chief and others came to the final portion of the event to answer any questions that protesters might have. Today and this place this did not really have the feel of a protest and how do you associate a three year old as a protester? I commend the organizers of this event for the planning and implementing of the march expressing their Constitutional rights.
I took the opportunity to speak with the BLM Representative as I wanted to ask a couple of questions. I asked him why it was that the Black Live Matter groups look down on blacks who are conservative? We see this nationally and locally? He tried to distinguish a conservative black supporter of President Trump from others. He wanted to identify himself as a conservative but his positions told the truth about that. I was also told that ordinary peaceful protests were not what they want specifically because they do not think people listen to peaceful demonstrations.
I disagreed with that because I believe that Black Lives Matter missed a great opportunity to unite Americans on reforms but all this violence, looting, destruction of property drowns out their message. I responded also that what helps the black community most is opportunity. I had to give a plug for President Trump!
The attempt was made to liken Black Lives Matter with triage and the DIME which is how you treat casualties. Delayed, Immediate, Minimal, and Expectant is the action of triage and BLM see themselves as an Immediate class. I certainly did share that Black Lives Matter (ALSO) and to also say All lives matter and I include the un-born child!
At the end of the day, even though little could we agree on about the issues of the day, we could communicate with respect to each one's positions. After-all, is that not the real purpose of a protest? To foster communication and respect and understanding?