Sean King in the House!

A guest blog by James Graham

My family and I were excited to meet and break bread with New York Daily News reporter and civil rights activist Shaun King last Friday at the Richard Anthony Risio Center for Play and Practice in Thetford. Former Lyme resident, Carolyn Bardos, who runs the center, invited Shaun King to give the talk that took place at Thetford Academy. She also invited me to play music along with my son Ramon, Tuck Stocking, Thomas Chapin, and Maria Squire. We were all invited to a potluck after the event where we met Shaun King’s beautiful family and enjoyed stimulating discussion amidst the joyful din of children unleashed.

The author, Maria Squire, Tuck Stocking, Thomas Chapin, and Ramon Graham perform before Shaun King’s talk in Thetford.

Shaun King is an important civil rights leader of our time. His main focus is police brutality in America. This issue, though seemingly of  little or no relevance to us in Lyme, is one that has dire affects on families all across America. In his talk, Mr. King laid out some of the statistics that show we are are actually in a crisis with regard to the number of unarmed citizens that are killed by police every year. He pointedly called upon those of us who live in areas with a largely progressive culture to do our part to effect change locally that will benefit all Americans.

What impresses me most about Shaun King is his wisdom and compassion combined with his fierce activism. He courageously speaks the truths that are often difficult for us to hear, yet is always careful to avow his deep respect for good policing and his love and compassion even for the people he disagrees with.

At a time when many of us are bewildered by the events in Washington D.C. and the news we hear from around the country, I hope you get a chance to hear what Shaun King has to say.