I’m going to tell you a story that will dash your expectations. And you’ll thank me for it.
Fred Barley was a homeless black teen who had set up camp in Barnesville, Georgia. If you only view life through the prism of current headlines, you know how this story goes. But wait. Here’s where we smash the meme and remind ourselves that there is a world beyond the headlines; one that is quite often much more hopeful than the one described above the fold.
So we return to the scene of the unfolding drama. Black teen, tent, some cops approach. Here’s what they learned. Fred Barley had recently pedaled his little brother’s bike for 6 hours to register for his second semester of classes at his university. He was too broke to stay anywhere and planned to live out of the tent until he got a job and classes started in a few weeks.
No, this is not where an AR-15 is pulled out. No riot gear. No pepper spray.
When the officers heard Barley’s story, they emptied their pockets to give him some spending money. Then they put him up at a local motel. When word spread to the community, they set up a crowdfunding campaign that pulled in nearly $200,000. Barley plans to attend medical school after he graduates from college. Don’t bet against him. And don’t let the headlines keep you from betting on the good guys.
If you really need a scandal, I’m pretty sure Barley’s little brother wants his bike back.
Not everything fits the current storyline. Not everything is at it memes.