The presidential campaign brought out a lot of ugliness in the country, and while the media continues to do its part in driving a divide between Americans, there are those doing their part to bring the country together.
The world looked on as both parties, and their supporters engaged in acts of disrespect, hatred, and violence during the 2016 election. Now, the entire nation must find a way to unite, or risk more hostility amongst one another.
As Donald Trump attempts to mend the country’s wounds, many people are trying to put the past behind them, and this moment in particular is bringing tears to the eyes of so many.
One of the year’s lowest points occurred during a Trump campaign stop in North Carolina where a 79-year old man is caught on video punching another man in the face. As soon as the video made national news it was played over and over again, and used to characterize all Trump supporters as violent, and angry.
John Franklin McGraw, 79, is the man who sucker-punched Rakeem Jones in the video, and afterwards McGraw told onlookers that Jones “deserved it,” and “next time we might have to kill him.” There didn’t appear to be much remorse at the time, as McGraw went on to say how much he enjoyed punching another person.
“You bet I liked it,” McGraw told a camera. “Knocking the hell out of that big mouth. We don’t know if he’s ISIS. We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American.”
Unfortunately rallies, and campaign stops have a way of getting people fired up, and when emotions are high, so are tensions. McGraw, who was originally charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct, was also charged with communicating threats once more videos surfaced.
Months later, the two met again in court, but things definitely didn’t go as many would predict.
The easy route to take for Mr. Jones would be to let justice take its course, and move on. However, he clearly saw this as a moment to bring much needed healing to a hurting nation, and it couldn’t have come at a more needed time.
During the case’s sentencing hearing the two men met face to face and had a moment that will bring tears to your eyes. “We need to heal our country,” McGraw said before shaking Jones’ hand, and embracing in a hug.
Following the hearing, an emotional Rakeem told interviewers that he “just felt good being able to shake his hand.” This may be a small moment, but if these two men can put their past behind them, why can’t we as a nation do it?
This is the type of healing we need in our country. It doesn’t matter what you believe politically, we should all do our best to be kind to one another, and treat others the way we want to be treated! God Bless!