Commentary: Forgiveness vs Foolishness
Ulysees O. Wingo (whose name I've been spelling incorrectly until now, and for which I apologize) is not simply a Common Council Member / School Board Representative. Beyond that, Ulysses O. Wingo is a Man of God...a Pastor. He is NOT a Pastor above the law and he is not a Pastor who operates or has an attitude such that he feels he s above the Law. Despite how he may humbly feel about himself, the fact that he is a Pastor sets him apart, in my opinion, from the average person...in terms of Integrity, Honesty, and being Forthright.
Because of the role Pastor Wingo represents within the Church, there should be a certain level of respectable recognition and even Honor relative to his being a "Man of The Cloth". However, to my amazement, there are individuals in this City who have no respect for him in that vein and who have instead placed him in a Category such that we are seemingly supposed to be Blind to that fact that this gentleman IS a Community Leader whose literal job it is to lead people down the "right" path. That path includes many different positive roads one can travel ....there's a path with a street sign that reads Honesty Lane, another Compassion Drive, Salvation Street, Forgiveness Road, etc.
There's another role Pastor Wingo serves in that's in a more Private setting outside of the Public's eye and one he has been serving in diligently for the past 18 years. That role is widely identified as "Parent", and more specifically, "Father". Now there are many types of Fathers as we well know. However, the type of Father Pastor Wingo has been is exemplary.
Pastor Wingo was a Single Dad, for a time, raising at least a Son, that I know of, and possibly his Daughter...I'm not certain....but I do know that his Son is a product of Pastor Wingo's direction without a doubt. The relationship he has had with his son of 18 years is going to soon change as the Young Wingo has stayed the course and will now be entering young adulthood as a graduating Senior from Hutch Tech...a celebration which has been in the works for 18 long years...AND...a celebration which will take place only once in either Pastor Wingo's life and even more importantly, his son's life. The Hutch Tech High School Graduation ceremony s young Wingo and his Dad's "Memorable Moment," which unfortunately in the lives of either...WILL NOT HAPPEN.
The celebration is not canceled because of the mistake Pastor Wingo made by inadvertently and mistakenly bringing a gun onto school grounds a few weeks ago. No, the celebration is NOT disrupted because of that. The celebration is disrupted because Pastor Wingo has peers of his who have no respect for him or his son whatsoever, in my opinion. Rather, they have chosen to have more respect for technicalities regarding School Policy and Gun Laws ...in which they have every right to choose.
Myself, on the other hand, am not in the business of enforcing laws without first asking questions to determine whether a person has done something willingly and blatantly wrong or by mistake. Consequences for intently doing wrong are not equivalent to the consequences for wrongdoing, which is unintentional.
The United States of America has Rules and Laws that people have to abide by, but we also have a Justice System for the purposes of upholding a standard such that every person has a right to explain/defend their actions. There are even Murder Cases such that the Courts recognize that there could be more to the story than a simple Mr. A killed Mr. B, period, END OF STORY. It's wise to gather all information needed to understand the circumstances surrounding any incident that could have consequences which could negatively impact a person's life forever ... as my Mom always taught me; "Come On In and Look Out; You Can See Better".
The Court system even takes a person's background information into account in order to determine the APPROPRIATE HELP a person may need moving forward. Help can even be prison time to help the person realize his / her actions and provide them an opportunity to change and be rehabilitated.
None of these provisions have been made available to Pastor Wingo and his son...simply a quick and brash guilty verdict...no matter what the circumstances. And although the Lawmakers in our Community were understanding and compassionate regarding Pastor Wingo's incident, it still did not sway his own peers...the persons he serves with on the School Board. As a means of punishment, his peers feel as though Pastor Wingo should pay dearly for his mistake and his son should be penalized as well. How would they accomplish this pleasurable task, on their behalf, of seeing them suffer? Ahhhhhh....the Son's Graduation! Yes...that should serve them right. Disrupt the most meaningful day in the lives of a parent and child by not permitting the Dad to attend his son's graduation... in. keeping with the already imposed sentence whereas Pastor Wingo cannot go within 1000 ft of any school in this community...because of his mistake carrying a gun onto school property.
I find this decision to be ridiculous, childish, personal, Mean Spirited, unnecessary, ignorant, and I could probably go on and on ... but you get the point. If I could clone myself 100 times, I would get all of "myselves" together and Picket in front of the Board of Education...but I'm, only one person and have chosen to share my sentiments here within this Blog.
If any of the Board Members are reading this, there is still time to reach within yourself and grant this Father & Son the privilege they deserve in terms of being together in celebration of 18 years of hard work, and a transition from Childhood into Adulthood. If you are reading this and know a Board Member.... maybe you can speak to any one of them reasonably and ask them to change their minds.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Commentary and I hope you will also Pray with me for the Wingos to be together as a Family in celebration of their son's Graduation. I'm praying for FORGIVENESS as opposed to FOOLISHNESS!
Todd D. Anderson
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME BELOW IN THE *COMMENTS SECTION*