First, Angela Morgan was sad.
Tuesday’s Charlotte police shooting 25 miles from her front yard and her five kids had made her sad.
Then she got mad, so she spray-painted her yard. All the way across her front yard. More than 100 feet of front yard.
In letters four feet tall.
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Morgan strode outside, armed not with guns but spray cans, and painted the slope of her yard facing busy U.S. 321 in the tiny hamlet of Bowling Green north of Clover. She painted through tears and rage the words she had seen on social media posts:
“United We Stand. Divided We Fall. #All Lives Matter.”
Morgan then planted an American flag in a cinder block. She made a sign using tape on a board to anchor the middle of the whole spectacle. It read simply: “Hate is easy. Love takes courage.”
The “O” in “love” was shaped like a heart.
The sign fell and she picked it back up. She stood there like a sentry at the hearts of a nation.
“Love starts with one person,” Morgan said. “I got so mad, all this stuff about black and white, and how so many people were hating each other and causing damage and blaming cops and trying to hurt them, that I had to do something.
“This country is not about black and white. It is not about ‘them.’ America is ‘us’ – all of us.”
Trucks barreled by and she waved and painted. Drivers honked. A few stopped. One black lady stopped and sobbed for the love for all people of all colors Morgan had shared with the world – on a day in a week where that lady and America needed it.
“You can protest peacefully; the police are not the problem,” Morgan said. “Justice is for all people. Right is right and wrong is wrong. My heart is broken; I feel for everybody involved in this.
“If we are to get through it, we will get through it together.”
Morgan has five kids, and she wants them to grow up in a world without hate. So she talked to them about the shooting and the riots – and she acted. Her little home sits hard along the busy highway less than a mile from the North Carolina line. She wants people to see what she did.
“The whole world seems to drive by here,” Morgan said. “Maybe people will think about love for all people after this.”
If the grass grows or the rain comes or the sign fades, she has a solution.
“I’m gonna paint it again,” Morgan said. “Until we love each other.”