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Lincoln City, OR

            With so much negativity in the media today it’s a desire of many people to hear something positive that can come from so much hatred. Some might argue that such a thing is nearly impossible, but Ralph Dodgson, formerly of the KKK, and Darius Malcolm, formerly of Black Lives Matter, might have something to say about this. During a lengthy stint spent in the Lincoln County Jail, both men were forced to take a hard look at their ideologies and their life choices when they were placed in the same cell. Normally such a thing would never happen for fear of one or the other inmate causing a problem, but as it happened, both men began to learn something from each other during their 10-month stay.

            “You wouldn’t think you could turn your life around in less than a year, or unlearn all the crap that the KKK and BLM teach you when you dive headfirst into,” said Darius, “But Ralph and went in as enemies and we came out as something you could call friends. Now after about three years we’re as tight as brothers. I’ve lost a lot of so-called friends over this, so has Ralph, but we’re happier for it since our families enjoy our new outlook and have really enjoyed getting to know each other. I think my mother has been the most overjoyed since she and my dad and I used to fight all the time about what it really meant to be a black person in America, and I was always the hardhead trying to tell them that we were still slaves. We’re not, just like they told me, our ancestors fought so that we wouldn’t have to, and somehow too many people keep their eyes closed or focused on the past and not the present.”

            Ralph had something to say as well, as he agreed with his friend:

            “Everything that Darius probably told you is true. We were enemies and we hated each other. But now there’s no one else I’d want to have my back, and my wife and kids are happier. It wasn’t easy to get away from it, and we’ve had a few death threats in the past couple years, but Darius has my back and I have his, and we’ve managed to create a network of forward-thinking people of all races and even in the LGBTQ+ community that we support and can rely on. It’s a better life to be sure.”

            Both men have spoken at local high schools and even colleges, detailing their past and present, and have become well-known in their community for trying to foster peace.

@AddenAll tweeted:

            Now these are some heroic individuals, but you might not hear about them since they’re too positive for the news media to focus on. Spread that word fellas.

@TwistedSister tweeted:

            Y’all gonna make me cry, for real….

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