School Board Member Rev. Donnie Thurman, Jr. once reminded me that he was an Ordained Christian Minister. I have made an effort to give Rev. Thurman that credit ever since. Now Rev. Thurman seems to get angry for me to give him the honor he deserves as an Ordained Minister. I don’t understand such thought processes. And usually just shrug them off.
That is until the conversations and emails that followed between myself and Rev. Thurman this very day.
Let’s start at the beginning.
It is Wednesday about noon September 14, 2016. Rev. Thurman calls me enraged at a statement I made about him in the article titled “In Cleveland County White Lives Matter too.” Paragraph four which states:
“Those in attendance included School Board Member Danny Blanton who left a School Board Meeting early to get to the Prayer Service on time. Fellow School Board Member Donnie Thurman, Jr. arrived at the end of the service around 7:30 pm but in time to offer condolences and shake some hands. No other School Board members were seen although it was a big crowd.”
Rev. Thurman insisted that those statements were lies and shed him in a negative light. I told Rev. Thurman that I believed the statements were correct based on my own observations and I would write a clarifying comment, which I did as noted below:
“Donnie, FYI, I added this comment below to my article regarding our conversation.
Folks, I apologize that this article was a little late. I sent an email with the article to my website manager and forgot to attach the article. In the meantime, the alleged killer of Officer Brackeen has been captured in Coventry, Rhode Island and been arrested. Others who aided the killers escape from NC to RI are being rounded up and arrested too. Now, we will see how competent our District Attorney’s Office is in prosecuting the criminals to the fullest extent of the law. I am calling right here and now for no plea bargains in these cases. I believe an execution as well as many going to prison for a long time is in order here.
On another matter. School Board Member Donnie Thurman, Jr. just called chewing me out for lying about him arriving at the Prayer Vigil at around 7:30 pm, which Rev. Thurman believes leaves a negative impression about him. Go to paragraph four of the article above for my exact words.
When Danny Blanton left the School Board meeting at around 6:45 pm I asked Rev. Thurman why he was not going to the Prayer Service. Rev. Thurman stated he was going after the School Board finished with the closed session. (Sometimes those closed session last for over an hour.) I then left the school board meeting place about 6:46 or 6:47 pm. I had no reason to put a stop watch into play at that time as the School Board uses for their Public Participation. See my next article for more about that.
Anyway, I drove directly to the Old Courthouse and had plenty of difficulty finding a parking spot. I ended up parking over two blocks away behind the PNC Bank. Then walked the rest of the way and arrived just a few minutes before Joel Shores opened the Service at 7:00 pm sharp.
Rev. Thurman, in his chewing on me, stated that he was there to hear Shores start the Service and Cindy Walker sing Amazing Grace. I stated that he would have to travel at faster than the speed of light to leave the School Board closed session after I did and get to the Service that fast. I contacted others who were at the service who stated that Rev. Thurman arrived on the scene about the time the last Prayer was delivered at the end of the Service.
I do not understand why Rev. Thurman is so upset with what I said about him in the article above. I was giving him credit for being there. As far as at exactly 7:00 or 7:30 pm, I cannot say. It was “about” 7:30 pm when I actually saw Rev. Thurman. Also, in my inquiry, I learned that School Board Chairman Phillip Glover also arrived after the Service was over, but many people were still there. I also learned Commissioner Eddie Holbrook was there too, from the beginning. I never saw Glover or Holbrook but I am glad they were in attendance. I am disappointed that all the School Board and all the Commissioners were not there in this situation that has the attention of the Nation as well as to express condolences to the family of Officer Brackeen.
Again, regarding Rev. Thurman. I recommended Rev. Thurman in his election to the CCS Board of Education, but have come to regret that recommendation. My initial communications with Rev. Thurman was that “either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem” and “it is not what you say, it is what you do that counts.” I firmly believe that was good advice then as it is now. And would hope that Rev. Thurman comes to understand what I was talking about.
Rev. Thurman has the potential of becoming an excellent school board member, if only he would just stand up for what is right.
Robert A. Williams
That could have been the end of it, but as soon as I hit “send” to post my comments, I received two email messages from Rev. Thurman regarding my articles “In Cleveland County White Lives Matter too” and my later article titled “School Board Operates in the Twilight Zone.” Both of Rev. Thurman’s email message stated the same thing, as follows: