Sometimes we get stuck seeing things our way. Would you like to see some things through another set of eyes? Maybe it will make you think and stretch or maybe just chuckle or shed a tear. Here is my world through my eyes...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Modern Hero #6: Samuel Batts

Recently I came across an article about Samuel Batts who was the first black police officer in a small town in Virginia.  In 1963 he became a police officer instead of joining the groups of protesters.  He was attempting to do something to make things better rather than complain about how things were. 

He found out quickly that was not an easy thing to do.  As would be expected at that time in the South he ran up against white people that wouldn't respect his authority as a policeman and who would goad him because of the color of his skin.  Additionally he was harassed from those with his same color of skin because he had sold out to the whites and joined them.  He said that he and his young wife and little baby sometimes had protesters come to their house, yelling names at him and even had death threats. 

He stuck with his efforts and over time was able to not only be a good example but to make it easier for more black people to get involved in making policy and being a part of leading the city.  Interestingly in the article he mentioned that now he thinks that people are hired because they are black and not always because they are the best applicant. 

The thing about Samuel Batts that makes him a hero for me is only partly because he did something that in his time was new and controversial but yet good and honorable.  The positive attitude that he chose to do it with is what really moves him up into the hero sphere. 

It seems our world constantly needs good men and women to step forward and move us into better practices in our societies.  Whether those people have light or dark skin, regardless of religion or nationality, we need them to step forward and help others have a vision of a better world.  We need them locally as well as nationally, as well as world leaders. 

I hope we can find those leaders in our lives today and be inspired to each be a better person ourselves. 

1 comment:

  1. this is really cool dad! another thing that strikes me beyond what you focused on was how he was so set on doing something to bring about change instead of just joining in with the voices that were pointing out there needed to be change. i remember reading some things about this in sociology which i found interesting. it's easy to point out flaws and problems, but can be hard to actually go and do something about it to try to eradicate those flaws and problems. it was especially difficult for samuel because of the racial climate of the time - he encountered opposition from both sides because of his choice! but he did what he thought was best and what was right to him and so i say he's a hero too!! :)


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