This is my dear, DEAR FRIEND, Father Arthur Unachukwu. He is a Catholic priest, a devout CrossFitter a dear friend and he shares my birthday. Arthur has been in charge of Catholic services at SMU for the past six or seven years. He is originally from Nigeria and found himself getting involved with the wrong people as a teenager, and he turned to the Catholic Church to find his true calling. And now here he is in our little gym in Dallas, TX.
When all of the racial rioting began, Father Arthur was the only person I could think of. If this had happened to him I would have been broken. He is not just a friend, but he has helped me through some of the most difficult times in my life I ever imagined I would have. He held my hands in his as I cried and we prayed together. Because of him I made it through and I am a better person for it today. I have also watched him help so many others through their life problems.
Yesterday, As I was scrolling through IG trying to figure out why everything was “broken” my daughter called me out and asked why I hadn’t posted more than my “opinions” on current circumstances. I will admit, I don’t watch the news and as much as I post on social media, I often don’t read it. I didn’t even know anything was happening until late Saturday afternoon. 🤷♀️ So, for the record, Black Lives Matter. And perhaps I was naive to think that was obvious.
What happened to George Floyd (and countless others) NEVER should have happened. Again, I was naive to think that was obvious.
That said, I like to think a long time before posting certain things so that I’m sure I say what I mean. Even then, things do get misconstrued.
Since this began I have spent most of my time watching, thinking and talking to friends and clients of different races and backgrounds discussing what we can DO to make the situation better, because as much as we all hate to admit it, the world is all up in arms right now, but soon life will get busy again and we will forget to address and fix the REAL problems unless someone (but who???) does what is really needed to create change.
As we talked, we talked specifically about many facets including “the abuse of power” and “finding the loose cannons early” and “post traumatic stress syndrome” (all of these as related to race and police) and anything we could think of that could lead an officer to police brutality.
That led to conversations about police department budget issues and lawyers, and hiring more and paying more and more counseling of officers and a host of things that desperately need to be done to fix the problem – and yet no one wants to pay the taxes to get it done. And it takes FOREVER to get stuff done through government. And a whole lot of people believe that the corruption is so high up in the government that even if you increase taxes, that money will never eventually flow toward getting done what needs to get done.
You can see the never ending trail here…
Getting mad is important because it makes people aware. But finding a solution is a whole different ballgame.
So I guess my question is, what DO we DO?
Then I found out that Father Arthur is being moved to his own parish in South Dallas. It is an impoverished, mostly African-American neighborhood and they are in great need of a young, vibrant soul to lead them. I can tell you that ANY group who gets Father Arthur is the luckiest group in the world. And I can’t tell you how RELIEVED I was that he is only moving to South Dallas and not across the world. But it kind of took my breath away…
So my pledge and our pledge at CrossFit Odyssey right now – is to help him the way that he has always helped us. We want to start a fund to help his new church and his new community. We might even be starting a CrossFit gym out there!! If you are interested in donating, building, coaching, volunteering or helping in any way, please let us know and we will forward the information to Father Arthur. And we will be there to support him and help him build, as well.
It may not be the answer, but it’s a start. It is one small step in the right direction, which, at least feels like we are doing something productive. And at the very least, we know we are supporting something wonderful that can become even more wonderful, and that is……. well, it is wonderful!
If you are interested in helping, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.