|Dee Garrett, a student athlete at Kentucky Christian University, is determined to “show love” during Sunday’s peaceful protest planned to begin at noon in downtown Grayson.He’s already seen what can happen to turn a peaceful event into a hate-filled confrontation while participating in protests in Cincinnati after counter protesters began yelling racial slurs and slogans.|
“That’s when it really causes problems,” he said last week, seated in a lobby area near the KCU gymnasium.
Garrett said he genuinely wants people who disagree with the protest and the “Black Lives Matter” campaign to end elevated levels of police violence against black Americans to stop and talk without fear.
“If I don’t show love to them, then how will they know the truth?” he asked. “Stuff should never go that route. I do not believe in violence.”
“Anyone who causes problems is going to leave,” Garrett said of Sunday’s peaceful protest, noting he did have concerns about a vendor with Trump merchandise not far from last Sunday’s protest.
“I talked to him and said ‘This could cause a problem.’ I’m trying to keep the peace here. If people see confederate flags …” he said without completing the statement.
Sunday’s peaceful protest at an empty lot on the corner of Main Street and Carol Malone Boulevard in Grayson is expected to have a considerably larger crowd than the first event, including many guests from outside the immediate area. Garrett said the informal program will include testimony from “powerful speakers” who will relate some of their personal experiences.
Garrett said two stories from last week’s protest event were especially poignant for him. The first was a young lady who defied her parents in order to participate and her parents later bringing her cold water and a show of support, he said, and the other was a young man who initially declined to join his girlfriend in protesting due to concerns about his own family’s reaction.
After a brief talk with the man, Garrett said he was proud to watch him join his girlfriend as the crowd of about 50 chanted, held signs and otherwise joined together in hope of making positive change in America.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post