TheVillageCelebration http://www.thevillagecelebration.com Wed, 13 Sep 2017 19:25:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 How the Praise of One Can Bless Generations http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/praise-one-can-bless-generations/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 16:53:24 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18225 The choir at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Bearden, Arkansas sang joyfully Sunday morning. A close-knit church family connected by belief and often bloodline, several of the lilting voices in the congregation and the fingers on the keys of the piano belong to descendants of one of the church founders, Leoma Brazil, whose sweet soprano […]

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The choir at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Bearden, Arkansas sang joyfully Sunday morning. A close-knit church family connected by belief and often bloodline, several of the lilting voices in the congregation and the fingers on the keys of the piano belong to descendants of one of the church founders, Leoma Brazil, whose sweet soprano sound fell silent four years ago.

“Mother loved singing, and she sang in the choir,” says Brazil’s youngest child, Josie Brazil.

September is Arkansas Gospel Heritage Month, and Brazil and her five siblings have a special appreciation for the celebration. They recall their mother singing at home and in church. ’The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow’, ‘No Tears in Glory’, and ‘I’ll Fly Away’ were several of her favorite songs.

“The same attention we give any other genre of music should be given to Gospel, but an even greater level of excellence should be expected because we are serving our Heavenly Father,” says Dedric Jones, one of the co-chairs for Gospel Heritage Month. Jones successfully lobbied the Arkansas Legislature to pass a bill in 2010 designating Gospel Heritage Month.

This month began with a workshop for singers, musicians, and artists. Grammy award-winning Gospel singer, Dorinda Clark-Cole, headlined a free concert.

“This year was the most amazing year ever. We had the best talent and the best turnout ever. This year we also had the Grand Finale: The Arkansas Stellar Awards,” Jones says.

Gospel music is one of the cornerstones of the church experience and has evolved over the years to one of the most popular genres in the country.

Jones says, “Gospel music in the church paves the way for the preacher to preach. Sometimes people don’t come for preaching, they come for the music. The music makes it easier for the pastor to deliver what God has given Him. It affects the mood swings in our services…the level of expectancy in the atmosphere.”

In southwest Arkansas, a concert featuring Gospel quartets and other singers drew a crowd of more than 100 on a Saturday night. Nationally-known Gospel artist, Travis Jackson and The Spiritual Sonz, along with Tasha McIntosh, who is included on many industry lists as a favorite new voice, filled the F.O. Jones Christian Center with soul-stirring praise. Pastor Sharod Ricks and Righteous Living, a male quartet, Sharicia Wright and Friends, and Children of the King also brought the crowd to its feet.

Minister Anthony Jackson emceed the evening. Jackson is a familiar voice to Gospel music fans and serves as the host for a Gospel radio show Sunday morning on KBJT 1590 AM in Fordyce.

“There’s nothing better than those who share special gifts or talents coming together and being on one accord to bless the name of the Lord through praise and worship,” Jackson said.

Brazil attended the singing which was bittersweet for her.

“My mother would sing with a smile when she was happy, with a solemn look when sad or troubled, and when she needed an answer from God, she would sing until a change of some form or manner would come,” Brazil explained. “Regardless of any situation, she still lifted her voice in song. And, she made sure each of her six children had piano lessons. She enjoyed listening to her grandchildren sing and play piano and trumpet.”

With almost three weeks left in the month, Jones is busy promoting the message of Gospel music.

“God honors faithfulness,” Jones said. “They may never be called to sing on the billboards of life, they may never make the charts, they may never sing at Carnegie Hall, but only what they do for Christ will last.” And, that belief is what Leoma Brazil practiced through song and service her entire life.

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United Airlines Flight Attendant and Others Remembered http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/united-airlines-flight-attendant-others-remembered-2/ Sun, 10 Sep 2017 12:00:19 +0000 http://thevillagecelebration.com/2014/05/30/united-airlines-flight-attendant-others-remembered-2/ The new museum dedicated to those killed during the terrorist attacks on September 11th is being described as moving and compelling. United Airlines Flight 93 attendant, CeeCee Lyles, is among those memorialized in the New York landmark. Her aunt, Frances Watson, talked about her niece with TheVillageCelebration.  

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The new museum dedicated to those killed during the terrorist attacks on September 11th is being described as moving and compelling. United Airlines Flight 93 attendant, CeeCee Lyles, is among those memorialized in the New York landmark. Her aunt, Frances Watson, talked about her niece with TheVillageCelebration.
 

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Leroy Homer Wilton, Jr., A 9-11 Hero http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/leroy-homer-wilton-jr-a-9-11-hero-2/ Sun, 10 Sep 2017 01:00:27 +0000 http://thevillagecelebration.com/2013/09/11/leroy-homer-wilton-jr-a-9-11-hero-2/ It was one of those crystal-clear mornings that seemed to promise only good things. Americans rushed into it going to work, the airport, the places they went every day. But, out of nowhere, a stunning attack that threated to wipe out symbols of American security and stability. Captain Leroy Wilton Homer, Jr. worked for United […]

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It was one of those crystal-clear mornings that seemed to promise only good things. Americans rushed into it going to work, the airport, the places they went every day. But, out of nowhere, a stunning attack that threated to wipe out symbols of American security and stability.

Captain Leroy Wilton Homer, Jr. worked for United Airlines. He had been flying planes since the age of 16, graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, and as a commercial pilot his assignment that day was Flight 93 from Newark, New Jersey to San Francisco.

“Leroy became a part of everything that happened,” says Pauline Smith, executive director of the Leroy Wilton Homer, Jr. Foundation. “He took it upon himself once he realized there were terrorists, he jammed up the flight controls so they were not able to take over the plane. It was such an heroic act.”

The heroism of the seven-member crew and its 33 passengers is widely known. Their jet barreled toward the U.S. Capitol as passengers and crew battled the terrorists.  They had heard about the earlier attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. When they realized the plan for their plane, they fought for their lives and the lives of those who had been marked for death in the al-Qaeda plot unfolding that September morning. Their bravery ended in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Leroy Homer’s widow, Melodie, wrote the book.From Where I Stand, on the 10-year anniversary of the attacks. Smith says, “In Melodie’s book she outlines everything on September 11th, and everything that has happened since that time. She has taken her grief and turned it into something positive.”

One of the ways Melodie Homer keeps her husband’s memory alive is through the foundation named for him. The Leroy Wilton Homer, Jr. Foundation awards scholarships to aspiring pilots. Applicants must be 16-23 years old and wish to pursue and obtain a private pilot’s license. Smith describes the application process as “pretty intense” with an emphasis on good grades and community service.

Members of the foundation will spend this anniversary much like they have spent others. They give speeches about the man they admired and the nation he served. “It’s hard every year, “ says Smith.  But, she adds, “We all need to remember what people like Leroy, pilot Jason Dahl, and the other crew members did…they sacrificed themselves to protect the nation.”

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The Destruction of Harvey and Irma http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/destruction-harvey-irma/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 02:42:59 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18220 This year’s hurricane season is already one for the history books. As residents in Texas and Louisiana begin rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Harvey, those in the Caribbean are surveying the devastation from Irma while Floridians are evacuating in anticipation of a direct hit from the Category Five Hurricane. As Irma forces residents from their […]

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This year’s hurricane season is already one for the history books. As residents in Texas and Louisiana begin rebuilding their lives after Hurricane Harvey, those in the Caribbean are surveying the devastation from Irma while Floridians are evacuating in anticipation of a direct hit from the Category Five Hurricane.

As Irma forces residents from their homes in Florida and the state closes its schools, Houstonian Genyne Vinson and thousands of others in the nation’s fourth largest city are slowly returning to normal after Hurricane Harvey and its astonishing rainfall. Vinson and her 16-year-old daughter are reliving the hours they spent watching the water race for the windows of their apartment.

“It was extremely nerve-wracking just not knowing what to decide to do, ride it out or stay,” Vinson recalls.

Vinson says she eventually called the rescue number authorities had given. By that time, she and her daughter along with their pet could not safely leave their neighborhood and the flood waters had forced authorities to issue a mandatory order to evacuate.

Relieved, Vinson remembers the “Texas National Guard came at about 6:00 p.m. and picked up those that wanted to go.” They were taken to a hotel where other families were riding out the storm.

Fast-forward one week later, and the scene is being repeated in the wake of Irma. In the Caribbean, 10 people were killed and there are reports of “total carnage.” The massive storm is headed for Florida and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say Miami is in the “worst possible position.”

The storm could reach South Florida by Sunday. Governor Rick Scott is warning residents on both coasts to prepare to evacuate, saying “this is not a storm you can sit and wait out.” Mandatory evacuations have been issued for some counties in Florida. Fuel shortages and outages are expected with Governor Scott ordering state law enforcement to escort fuel trucks.

In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal is ordering evacuations for those who live in Savannah and areas east of Interstate 95 starting on Saturday.

And, yet a third hurricane is brewing in the Atlantic. Forecasters are monitoring Jose with its 125 mph winds. Earlier today the National Hurricane Center designated Jose as a Category 3 storm located east-southeast of Antigua.

Meanwhile, back in Houston, Vinson is grateful for her safety, but she understands all too well the uncertainty now faced by those in the path of Hurricane Irma. “I will most remember not knowing what is going to happen and making the wrong decision.”

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The March on Washington: 54 Years Later http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/march-washington-54-years-later/ Sun, 27 Aug 2017 02:44:31 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18208 Right up until the final minutes, organizers of the 1963 March on Washington were busy. The March brought Americans of all races, regions, and religions to Washington, D.C. in one of the most historic moments in the Civil Rights Movement. It’s been 54 years since Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the crowd of thousands with […]

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Right up until the final minutes, organizers of the 1963 March on Washington were busy. The March brought Americans of all races, regions, and religions to Washington, D.C. in one of the most historic moments in the Civil Rights Movement. It’s been 54 years since Dr. Martin Luther King addressed the crowd of thousands with his “I Have a Dream” speech.

On Monday, August 28, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. from the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol, Arkansas leaders will join the nation in remembering the 54th Anniversary of the March on Washington.  Leaders from across Arkansas led by three social justice advocates with more than 100 years of carrying the MLK torch will share plans for the newly organized, Arkansas MLK50 Faith-based Commemoration Coalition.  Next year marks 50 years after the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  

During a time when hate is at an all-time high and love is at an all-time low, organizers will offer prayers of peace and non-violence for the state and for the nation. They will also announce plans for the Inaugural Arkansas Exclusive MLK Holiday and the 50-year Commemoration (1968-2018).  A similar gathering will be held in Washington, D.C. on Monday at the MLK Memorial with a 1000-person Clergy March.   

Governor Asa Hutchinson ushered in a new appreciation for the work of Dr. King by encouraging Arkansas lawmakers to pass legislation separating a federal holiday to celebrate King from a longstanding Arkansas observance of Confederate leader Robert E. Lee.  Hutchinson was presented the MLK Exclusive Holiday Bible which was dedicated as a spiritual symbol of his leadership. The bible will be read publicly for the first time from the State Capitol in January at the MLK Holiday 2018. Events leading up to January will be announced on Monday at the press conference.

 

Rev. Arthur Hunt is the Senior Pastor of  Hunt Memorial Cathedral of Faith. He is also the founder of the College Aspiring Artists. Hunt worked with the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis to organize events leading up to the first federal holiday recognizing Dr. King. He is currently involved in the creation of a Commemorative Bible including essays the explore Dr. King’s social justice work through the prism of his pastoral tradition.

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Moving the Boycott Ball Down the Field http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/moving-boycott-ball-field/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 03:26:41 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18204 The conversation quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he knelt during the national anthem as a protest demonstration against racism and police brutality continues this season with more NFL players sitting or kneeling and a group of African American ministers in Alabama calling for an outright boycott of the League for what many consider collusion among […]

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The conversation quarterback Colin Kaepernick started when he knelt during the national anthem as a protest demonstration against racism and police brutality continues this season with more NFL players sitting or kneeling and a group of African American ministers in Alabama calling for an outright boycott of the League for what many consider collusion among team owners who have declined to hire Kaepernick.

“When you look at the reason he protested, the number of unarmed Black and Brown people killed at the hands of police without any repercussions, there’s a real sense of trauma…especially with the shootings caught on tape. That is very real,” says Pastor Debleaire Snell, the narrator in the video. “When he took that approach, there were a lot of people excited about someone willing to bring attention in such a large venue and not gloss over it.”

Snell and an ecumenical group of Huntsville, Alabama ministers are the faces in a video viewed more than four million times in a matter of days. The other ministers are wearing team jerseys in the video which they remove while simultaneously calling for a “BlackOut.”

The call for a “BlackOut” of the NFL is gaining momentum. “A lot of people were on the verge and needed a point of nexus or unity. I don’t know that we shifted thought, but they needed an outlet to express their frustration, and I think our video did that.”

“This young man should have a right to peacefully protest,” says Reverend T.C. Johnson, another pastor in the video. “He probably won’t be affected by racism like poorer African Americans are affected, but he took that knee for us. And, since they have determined they will punish him for practicing his democratic right, we think we should stand up for him by not participating with the National Football League.”

 

Boycotts Started in Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama is almost 200 miles from Montgomery, home of one of the most historic and successful boycotts in American history. It was December 1955 when Rosa Parks refused to surrender her bus seat to a white person.  With Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr and Ralph Abernathy involved, the boycott began against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system. The boycott was a seminal event in the Civil Rights Movement and ended when the United States Supreme Court ruled that segregated buses were unconstitutional.

Snell is aware of the “powerful” parallel. “This is that flashpoint moment for our generation and will reveal what our values are,” he says. “Of course, the sacrifices made before us were much more significant that what we are calling for. We are asking people to focus their dollars and affect things in that way.”

“Church is where we have launched our attacks against injustices. And to a large degree, many have left that powerhouse,” Johnson says. “They have the education produced by the uniting of churches that stood together in the 60s. But, are now going to church where people won’t speak from the Holy Dais about the injustices they suffer.”

 

Taking Sides in the League

 

Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, opposes the anthem protests, calling them “disappointing.” One of the more influential team owners, Jones is on record as saying, “I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have.”

A retired Command Sergeant in the United States Army, Johnson says, “I pledged my loyalty to fight for my country, but when I did so, it was my anticipation that citizens would be allowed practice democracy.”

Johnson wants the NFL to find a way to address the protests and not “punish the people who make them money.”

More players in the NFL are taking a knee during the national anthem. At Monday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants, 12 of the Browns’ players knelt and prayed during the national anthem, including the first white player, Seth DeValve who is married to a Black woman. At half-time the Browns organization released a statement that read:

“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s National Anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad. We feel it’s important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country including the freedom of personal expression.”

With the season just getting underway, more organization may find themselves issuing statements addressing what is turning into a Super Bowl-sized protest, assisted by a video produced by another group of men with a powerful Sunday following.

 

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Viewing the “Great American Eclipse” http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/viewing-great-american-eclipse/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:25:32 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18199 Dr. Lee Walker is closing his clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas early today to give his staff time to view the solar eclipse. Millions of Americans plan to witness the solar eclipse which occurs when the moon’s shadow falls on the Earth as it passes between us and the sun. Eclipse glasses, recommended to prevent […]

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Dr. Lee Walker is closing his clinic in Little Rock, Arkansas early today to give his staff time to view the solar eclipse. Millions of Americans plan to witness the solar eclipse which occurs when the moon’s shadow falls on the Earth as it passes between us and the sun. Eclipse glasses, recommended to prevent damaging the eyes while viewing, sold faster than snow cones in August

“Some of my employees have given their children permission to watch the eclipse, but to make sure their children don’t take off their glasses, they want to be with them at school, and that’s fine with me,” Walker says.

It’s been 38 years since the country experienced a total solar eclipse, and the eclipse was only visible in parts of the United States. This time the eclipse will stretch from coast-to-coast with varying shades of darkness. Astronomers define the areas where the sun will be completely obscured as in being in the “path of totality.”

Nashville, Tennessee is the only metropolis in the “path of totality”. There are only a handful of places like Madras, Oregon and St. Joseph, Missouri or Carbondale, Illinois in that 70-mile wide swath of the eclipse. And, Americans are flocking to those towns.

In Nashville, hotels are sold out and residents as well as visitors are being told to expect traffic jams.  Some drivers are filling up their cars concerned there may be a shortage of gasoline. And, then there are those who plan to celebrate what is arguably for many a once-in-a-lifetime event with a party.

Dr. Walker graduated from Meharry Medical School in Nashville and knows the city well. He’s covering for several of his colleagues who traveled to Nashville and other locations in the path of totality.

Walker says, “I think it’s wonderful. It’s something they’ve never seen. I informed one of the doctors, ‘When you come back, you have to tell me exactly what you saw.’”

But, the doctor is quick to remind everyone to be careful about what you see, warning about the dangers of looking directly at the eclipse without the appropriate glasses.

If you miss the big event, the United States will have to wait another seven years for the next total solar eclipse within its borders. NASA says on April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will stretch diagonally across the U.S. from Texas through the Northeast United States.

 

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Calls Increase for A NFL Boycott http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/calls-increase-nfl-boycott/ Mon, 21 Aug 2017 02:22:59 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18196 Robert Jackson is already anticipating what he calls “withdrawal symptoms” as he makes plans to sit out the NFL season in protest of what many see as the league owners kowtowing to critics of quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s controversial decision to kneel during the national anthem. Kaepernick, who is only 25-years-old, remains unsigned as the season […]

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Robert Jackson is already anticipating what he calls “withdrawal symptoms” as he makes plans to sit out the NFL season in protest of what many see as the league owners kowtowing to critics of quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s controversial decision to kneel during the national anthem. Kaepernick, who is only 25-years-old, remains unsigned as the season starts despite his ranking among quarterbacks and leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl four years ago.

“I have to admit it will be difficult in the beginning because Sundays and pro football is a tradition that stems back over more than 40 years personally,” explains Jackson. “But, a boycott is definitely necessary because human lives are at stake. Police brutality and unjust behavior have reached epic proportions in the Black and Brown communities.”

A handful of columnists and civil rights advocates started the boycott discussion during the early days of summer. As the long days of the season give way to the cool snap of fall, the conversation is gaining momentum, sustained by the participation of other NFL players who have decided to sit or kneel during the anthem as a protest against racism. With teams already playing exhibition games, fans are taking note of the calls to boycott.

 

Spreading the Word

A video featuring a group of Black men, including members of the clergy, wearing their favorite NFL team’s jersey while calling for a “Black0ut” is making its way around the internet. In less than 48 hours, thousands of fans have shared the video, and the overwhelming majority supported the idea of a boycott as a sign of solidarity with Kaepernick. There were a few who condemned his actions, writing, “He made his choice and he assumed the risk.” Others indicated Kaepernick had not been signed because of “diminished skills” and not collusion among the owners motivated by fear of a backlash from white fans. But, Jackson agrees with the producers of the video, “An NFL boycott is the perfect setting for this to take place on the world’s largest stage. The illegal practice of collusion against Colin Kaepernick was the final straw.”

The National Museum of African American History Features Kaepernick

Despite the NFL’s ambiguity, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture is adding items related to Kaepernick’s protest. A representative for the Museum describes the inclusion as an effort “to document the varied areas of society that have been impacted by the Black Lives Matter Movement.” The Museum’s sports curator referred to Kaepernick as “this generation’s Muhammad Ali.”

For Robert Jackson and many other NFL fans, Kaepernick deserves the association. As for his Sunday plans this season, Jackson says, “Hey, as my sister would say, ‘Time to start a new tradition’. I will be spending my Sundays interacting more with family and friends. I may also take up a suggestion mentioned by one of the boycott’s organizers…to use the potential time spent watching football towards mentoring young people.”

 

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Dick Gregory Dies At 84 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/dick-gregory-dies-84/ Sat, 19 Aug 2017 03:42:26 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18193 Social justice champion and comedian, Dick Gregory, passed away Saturday evening. His son shared the sobering news on social media. Gregory made a name for himself by combining unflinching truth with intelligent humor. During the 1960s, the St. Louis native played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. And, throughout his career he maintained […]

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Social justice champion and comedian, Dick Gregory, passed away Saturday evening. His son shared the sobering news on social media.

Gregory made a name for himself by combining unflinching truth with intelligent humor. During the 1960s, the St. Louis native played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement. And, throughout his career he maintained his commitment to justice.

A few years ago, he talked with TheVillageCelebration about a range of topics.

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The Secret Service Investigates a State Senator for Posts http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/secret-service-investigates-state-senator-posts/ Fri, 18 Aug 2017 21:55:33 +0000 http://www.thevillagecelebration.com/?p=18187 Missouri Democratic State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal had to know she was in trouble the moment she clicked the arrow to post her incendiary comment to a public discussion on her personal Facebook timeline.  She couldn’t delete it quickly enough before someone captured and shared what she wrote: “I hope Trump is assassinated!” Predictably, Chappelle-Nadal now […]

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Missouri Democratic State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal had to know she was in trouble the moment she clicked the arrow to post her incendiary comment to a public discussion on her personal Facebook timeline.  She couldn’t delete it quickly enough before someone captured and shared what she wrote: “I hope Trump is assassinated!”

Predictably, Chappelle-Nadal now finds herself isolated on the Isle of Humiliation and Shame, investigated by no less than the U.S. Secret Service. The senator’s political career hangs in the balance amid calls for her resignation from members of her own party, including U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill. Chappelle-Nadal has since admitted posting that comment was a mistake but says she will not resign.

So, we’ve come to this place: Our American President is siding with Nazis and Klansmen while our elected officials are wishing him dead – assassinated. How did we get here? How much further will we sink?

The low-hanging fruit would be to join the pile-on and declare Chappelle-Nadal stupid for throwing flames and exercising poor judgment. However, we might reap a more bountiful harvest by looking beyond her dreadful lack of restraint to the spirit that enlivened her words and momentarily emboldened her — or depending upon your view triggered her insanity.

To be sure, publicly professing that you wish physical harm – no less death by assassin – would come to the President of the United States is shameful, indefensible and, for an elected official, woefully irresponsible. Yeah, posting that is classically dumb and potentially criminal.

Still, ours is a grave error if we allow the narrative to end there. Failure to place this in context shortchanges the more considerable discussion about the current collapse of peaceable public dialogue, often egged on by the present occupant of the White House himself. The moment demands that we account for the overwhelming frustration Chapelle-Nadal expresses and so many of us feel regarding our existing presidential situation. However brutal, distasteful and – yes – hateful the senator’s remark was, it reveals a situational ugly edge where so many of us trod daily, a precipice to where 45 routinely nudges us.

Even I can’t pretend 45 doesn’t make me want to cuss daily and drink brown liquor. He makes me want to act and think out of character – like go off and pound my head against a desk, which would only bring me, not him, harm. Indeed, increasing numbers of Americans are feeling hopeless facing another three years of this presidency and no impending signs of impeachment. Perhaps, that’s what happened here, perhaps Chappelle-Nadal edged this time too close to the brink.

Chappelle-Nadal told The Kansas City Star she didn’t mean what she wrote. The senator explained that she was “frustrated” at how she said, “The president is causing damage. He’s causing hate.”

That doesn’t grant Chappelle-Nadal clear passage to wish someone goes all Grassy Knoll on the nation’s chief executive. That much still is reprehensible. But in this remarkably unhinged place where the president himself conducts his own extreme brand of political bidding, shouldn’t he bear any responsibility in ratcheting up the nastiness? Isn’t this the guy, who as a candidate, boasted he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, murder people and get away with it?

Does Chappelle-Nadal’s outrage look any different given the president’s own outrageousness, his own blistering rhetoric and, this week, his unabashed racism? Should we be surprised how far civil discourse has fallen when the president himself is so patently uncivilized? And where does this dangerous game of rhetorical Putin-less Russian Roulette end?

No one can or should defend Senator Chappelle-Nadal, who is no stranger to controversy and has a reputation for making what many would consider over-the-top pronouncements. If she didn’t foresee her remark’s gravity – for heaven’s sake, a gunman already shot lawmakers this year, wounding cops and a Republican Congressman while aiming to massacre a whole lot of them – she most certainly must now. She likely will pay a political price, which absolutely will be greater than the consequences faced by other public figures who made similar overtures regarding our previous president.

On multiple occasions through President Obama’s terms, certain politicians and clergy – without provocation – openly wished for his death virtually without penalty.  If hate mongers would target a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, wouldn’t it stand to reason a bombastic president of far less moral repute might be much more vulnerable to such verbal assaults?

If Donald Trump’s bedtime tweets are our national nightmare, how do we keep from falling out of bed ’round midnight? How do we make sense of it all, maintain our collective cool and not be driven to say, or worse, do stupid things? What lesson can we learn from this teachable moment?

Meanwhile, one senator is about to learn a major lesson in how far is too far. In hoping aloud for the president’s assassination, she ultimately may have turned the gun on herself and brought about the death of her own political career.

© Copyright 2017, Jonathan Clarke, All Rights Reserved

Jonathan Clarke is a writer and content creator, blogger and communications consultant and a regional Emmy Award winning reporter and producer.

He is also a contributor to TheVillageCelebration. Jonathan consults for businesses and individuals, helping them find the best way to effectively express themselves. In his spare time, you’ll catch him singing, writing poetry, shooting photographs and cooking.

To read more of Jonathan’s writing, visit couldntkeepit.wordpress.com. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Jonclarkewrites.

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