Wednesday, July 18, 2018
News Roundup

Whitman: America’s unmasking fuels fear, anger — and prayer

I used to feel safe here.

Then something happened in America. People began to unmask.

Neighbors revealed themselves as bigots. Respected men as perpetrators. Leaders as school-yard bullies.

The worst in us started to emerge. And with it came our fear. Our doubt. Our anger.

We Americans shared everything online. And there, we found others just like us. Every opinion. Every ideology. Every belief could be validated by strangers.

For some, this became a good thing. Nationwide people connected to make our country better. Many showed themselves and accepted others as is, embracing differences, exploring common ground.

Sadly, with the outpouring of America’s heart, so much evil spilled out. It always existed here. But where fire once flickered, it now rages.

These faces on the news, men with incomplete backstories and disturbed minds, these too are Americans. They are our underbelly come to surface. And, in today’s culture, they too feel less alone.

Now religious havens, once seemingly sacred, draw in their evil intentions. Some have lived long enough to remember when black churches were bombed and burned by segregationists. However, attacks like the mass shooting that took the lives of at least 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5, and the 2015 death of nine during a Bible study at Charleston, S.C., are different: more random, more sinister, more threatening.

Church leaders must now focus on active shooter training as much as they focus on activating the members. Faith plans must be coupled with security plans.

Many say the good guys need to take action. But what action? No one can agree because every Twitter user thinks they know best.

So yes, for now, I pray. I pray every day. I pray for my family, friends and neighbors. I pray for people I pass on the street, for every wife who loses a husband to a shooter, for any mother who buries a child.

I pray for healing. I pray for answers. I pray my children can grow up and feel safe here.

Maybe privilege deluded me into thinking I once possessed that safety. After all, to defeat evil, we must first recognize it.

To quote a Kevin Spacey character, "The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist."

Contact Sarah Whitman at [email protected]

Comments
Leaky septic tanks fuel algae blooms. Rick Scott OK’d repeal of law aimed to prevent that

Leaky septic tanks fuel algae blooms. Rick Scott OK’d repeal of law aimed to prevent that

With toxic algae blooms now erupting all over Florida — from the St. Johns River to Lake Okeechobee as well as on both coasts — scientists are pointing a finger at one likely fuel source: pollution from leaking septic tanks.There are more than 2.6 mi...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
SEC media days: Why Martez Ivey says this is the year Florida Gators’ offense clicks again

SEC media days: Why Martez Ivey says this is the year Florida Gators’ offense clicks again

ATLANTA — Florida Gators offensive lineman Martez Ivey knew the question was coming Tuesday during SEC media days.Is this the year the offense gets cranked up?"This is the only time I'm going to answer this question again," Ivey said. "Thi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Twitter controversy that marred All-Star Game

The Twitter controversy that marred All-Star Game

What had been a three-day feel-good All-Star celebration of baseball ended in some controversy on Tuesday night with Brewers reliever Josh Hader apologizing for a series of tweets from 2011-12 that contained racist, sexist and homophobic comments."Th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The Daystarter: Brittany Lincicome makes more golfing history; solving crime one app at a time; why is Florida struggling with toxic algae blooms?

The Daystarter: Brittany Lincicome makes more golfing history; solving crime one app at a time; why is Florida struggling with toxic algae blooms?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• Rinse and repeat for another hot July day: Overnight showers will hit the coast in the morning and move inland over the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. Isolated ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Residents use technological solution to combat tech-created problem: theft by porch pirates

Residents use technological solution to combat tech-created problem: theft by porch pirates

TAMPA — Four packages landed on the porch of a Palma Ceia home one day last month. Inside were shoes and supplies for a children’s birthday party. At 4:52 p.m. on a Friday, a man in a white hat calmly gathered up the brown boxes.Then he drove away fr...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Where to eat and drink around Safety Harbor: Gigglewaters bar, Parts of Paris, Sno Beach and more

Where to eat and drink around Safety Harbor: Gigglewaters bar, Parts of Paris, Sno Beach and more

Not that many years ago, downtown Safety Harbor was a little lean on places to eat. Green Springs Bistro had been an anchor, Whistle Stop and Cello’s Char House, too. But no one would have called it a dining destination. It was too bad: The city of 1...
Published: 07/18/18
Tampa Bay is a perfect place to make your own food tour. Here are our suggestions.

Tampa Bay is a perfect place to make your own food tour. Here are our suggestions.

There are many good reasons to eat at four or five places in one night. A near overwhelming number of new restaurants in the Tampa Bay area can provoke anxiety in a certain kind of diner, the one who wants to try everything but doesn’t have the funds...
Published: 07/18/18
Eat and drink your way through Tampa Heights with stops at Hall on Franklin, Armature Works and more

Eat and drink your way through Tampa Heights with stops at Hall on Franklin, Armature Works and more

Five or six years ago, if you were to stand on the steps of the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and look north along the Hillsborough River, there wouldn’t be much to see. Just a couple of old warehouses and some rubble in the area ...
Published: 07/18/18
In South Tampa, create a dinearound with stops at Bern’s, Haven and the Epicurean Hotel

In South Tampa, create a dinearound with stops at Bern’s, Haven and the Epicurean Hotel

I had a specific vision for my 35th birthday.Relaxation mostly. Bathrobe. Wine. Maybe a massage or a pool. Food, food, food. A handful of close friends. I did some research at beach hotels in Clearwater and St. Pete Beach and found the price range ou...
Published: 07/18/18
Ybor City mainstay La Segunda opens second location, introduces seating

Ybor City mainstay La Segunda opens second location, introduces seating

TAMPA — It’s like stepping off Kennedy Boulevard right into Ybor City.From the exposed brick and wrought iron accents to the street lamp-styled globe lights hanging from the ceiling and the signage — blue and red divided by a ribbon of gold — the new...
Updated: 14 minutes ago