BY JAMES HARPER
Bringing people together and working toward a solution against gun violence and domestic abuse will be the focus of a “March Against the Madness” set for May 18. It is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. from Derbyshire Park near Hope Fellowship Church in Daytona Beach.
Bishop Derek T. Triplett, pastor of Hope Fellowship and one of the organizers of the march said, “The fire is hot in our community. Every day we are dealing with these ills and ailments.”
Triplett said he had hoped to have the march this month but because of Bike Week and other calendar issues they were not able to pull it off.
“I am not tying the march to any particular episode in our city but to aggregate violence across America,” Triplett said. He explained that the march wasn’t timed because of recent shootings across the city since December where Black teens were either killed or injured.
DBPD planning gun buyback
Triplett said there are plans to work with the Daytona Beach Police Department (DBPD) for a gun buyback program the same day as the march.
DBPD spokesman Jimmie Flynt confirmed to the Daytona Times that the department is in the planning stages of the gun buyback program in conjunction with Hope Fellowship the day of the march.
The last gun buyback took place in Daytona Beach last August at the Dickerson Center. Residents turning in the weapons received a $50 Walmart gift card with no questions asked.
Triplett said he wants the rally and march to become a catalyst to bring people together who usually wouldn’t work together.
“We have a lot of people doing things in isolation,” he noted.
‘Complement to F.A.I.T.H.’
Triplett said he was aware this week about a rally organized by F.A.I.T.H. (Fighting Against Injustice Towards Harmony), a group of 32 churches targeting homelessness and joblessness. F.A.I.T.H. invited elected officials to hear their concerns and asked them to pledge to do something about the issues.
“We are not members of F.A.I.T.H. We are a complement to F.A.I.T.H.
Our audience is not the government,” he said.
Triplett said the rally and march is not directed at elected official but to “bring awareness to our citizens.”
“We start to expect a way of life to be a way of life – someone gets killed, a senior is a victim, a child is a victim. We become desensitized to such happenings until it becomes normative. This should not be a regular part of our lives,” said Triplett.
“We need to dig deeper in the issues that come from repercussions of poverty. Poverty creates a certain culture. It creates a certain mindset approach to education, to ethics, to parenting. We are living results of non-sustainable communities,” he continued.
Triplett said the plan is to look at the landscape of the community and focus in on a couple of issues every year.
“Our kids are acting out in part of what the culture has produced,” he added.
For more information on March Against the Madness, call Hope Fellowship at 386-226-1122.