Thoughts on Today’s #TrumpRally

I want to follow up on my prayer of a little earlier, and talk a bit about today.

My prayer earlier was:

Dear God,
May everyone in our city be safe and may the day be violence free.

For many of us in Dallas, given our history, we hold our breath any time any president visits our city. Every time.
Today, I’m feeling the tension especially strongly. We know that in addition to all those attending the Trump Rally today, there is a contingent of “OathKeepers” who are armed vigilante civilians who claim to “protect” those in attendance.

We also know that there will be counter-protestors who may seek to engage rally goers.
We know in other cities there have been violent conflicts between the “two sides.”
And, finally, we know that the Dallas Police are feeling especially beleaguered during the already tense aftermath of the Guyger trial, and the ongoing State Fair.

I’m going to *trust* that everyone will be OK.

But, to be clear, I will not be on the streets tonight.

Many of my friends joke that I never met a protest that I didn’t like.

However, today feels like one of those times —for me— when I will choose to stay away from the AAC and its surroundings. I fully understand that others may feel differently, and certainly respect the right of peaceful assembly that we all have. I’m simply speaking for myself.

Photo: Justin Terveen. White Rock Late at dusk…

Here’s how *I* see the day…

Fact: Dallas County is one of Texas’ BLUEST Counties. In the most recent election, the County voted by more than 60 percent *against* the President and his policies.

Fact: North Texas is *trending* Blue in just about every statistical poll (when looked at over the past 20 years)

Friends, Consider these two facts in tandem, when considering why Donald Trump is holding a rally in the HEART of a solidly Blue stronghold in Texas. I believe it’s a *deliberately* provocative act on his part. He, or some part of his election team, is HOPING that there will be violent confrontations here. That is a belief on my part. It cannot be proven.

But, consider this, there are far more “friendly” counties for Trump supporters than Dallas. It’s an attempt at provocation.

My Father taught me many things. One of the most important lessons he taught me was: “Don’t give a bully what they want.”
Unlike many other Fathers, he taught me to walk away from bullies; to not be “drawn offsides” by them.
I think that is very good advice for everyone today. Please know and assume that there will likely be those who are on edge.

But, let’s also be clear about this AHEAD of time…

If there IS violence, if there is provocation, I will lay this at the feet of the Trump Campaign.
The question has to be asked, again: why hold a large political rally in the heart of Texas’ most solidly Blue large county….IF YOU ARE NOT HOPING FOR PROVOCATION?

I understand that many people feel the need to speak up and “do” something.

Let me offer things that could help:
1. Register to vote.
2. Register OTHERS to vote.
3. Give to the candidates of your choice.
4. Block walk, organize, and encourage everyone to let the ballot speak for them, not violence.

Provocation and violence is what Trump and his supporters want.

I hope and pray that nobody gives it to them.

Please pray for our city today, friends.

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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