This evening, I received a statement from Knox County Commissioner Dr. Dasha Lundy concerning the continuing stories of the Knox County Sheriffs Department / McAlisters Deli incident. I do not experience the biases that people of color live with daily. I have not had to experience the loss of a brother and attempted to carry on with a life of school, work and help my family function. I do not and have not had a job/uniform/badge that has the power to take someone’s liberty from them, even for a moment.
Ultimately, its up to everyone to lead the way. We must reflect, we must treat others as we want to be treated and understand everyone we encounter may be experiencing something we are not. I do not have the answer, but I am willing to take a breath and work on seeking to understand.
The hidden truths of our heart are currently being exposed and is leading to the detriment of our County. This is the time that we need unity and not division.
Unfortunately, I have learned in my short time as the Commissioner for District 1, that we are in deep trouble as it relates to the care and compassion for the underserved, underrepresented, and the Black/Brown Community.
This current climate has ushered in a new kind of war. The battle that we are fighting is the lack of compassion and empathy for our people.
I am deeply disturbed by the stance that the Knox County Sheriff’s Office has taken as relates to the 15- year old young lady who was employed by McAlister’s Deli. The accusations were most likely a mis-communication among 3 parties. Now, we are dealing with a bigger problem. We have a healing teen who has lost her brother and her first job within a 2- year time span. We have a corporate company having to make a choice to either release a young teen from her current position, show empathy, or choose to grow an employee to a leader. The company decided to fire her. Then we are dealing with Officers who feel discriminated against.
In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” | want to choose Community, but Chaos continues to overtake us. Over the past few years, we have suffered through a pandemic and the loss of Anthony Thompson, Jr, George Floyd and many others at the hands of Law Enforcement. These unfortunate events have challenged the state of our mental health and creates a further distrust for Law Enforcement and other entities.
This situation with the young lady and the Law Enforcement could have been handled differently. I am currently experiencing a deep wrestling within my Spirit and I know many others who are reading this letter are experiencing the same wrestling. We have to fix this situation and many others like it. The strategy starts within us. As a people, a county, a nation, we can nolonger operate in the spirit of US vs. Them. We must come together to choose liberation and justice for all.
Call to Action: Please come to the Commission Meeting on December 19, 2022 at 5pm to speak to this issue or any other issue. Please call 865-215-2534 to sign up for Public Forum.