DALLAS - Gospel radio listeners in North Texas are leaning on each other and sharing ideas about where to go from here.
Radio station Heaven 97 is striving to keep its listeners informed and positive.
“The gospel is good news in bad times, and we are facing some challenging times here in the United States of America,” veteran host Robert Ashley said.
Ashley leads the conversation with a daily program called ‘Community Forum.’
“How can we stay positive and keep our heads up in light of the fact we are dealing with so much, we’re going through so much at this given time,” he said.
“As my mother used to tell me, this too shall pass. That’s one thing I have to remember because we’ve faced tough days in the past, even tougher than this coming, from our bondage and so forth. We will get past this. It’s a rough time but I believe we will get past it,” one caller said.
Callers have been sounding off about the killing of George Floyd, the protests, the judicial system, and police.
“You said where do we go from here? I think we go to the ballot box,” another caller said. “I think we go to the police department. You know they’re talking about eliminating the police department. That doesn’t make any sense.”
Co-host Shannon Thomas added her concern, as a mother, for her teen son.
“He’s 16 next week and he’s ready to drive with driver’s ed. And I’m like, I don’t really think I want him to drive, I don’t want him to go beyond the four walls of this house. I mean it’s been a struggle,” Thomas said. “Let me be honest, as I try to inspire every day, everyone else, it’s a struggle for me.”
Even when callers are angry, the goal is to encourage calm and positivity.
“I need a leader to come out and talk to me and the people so we can vote and decide who is our leader, who I know is going to represent us,” one caller said.
“This is one particular shooting, the death of George Floyd, but who’s to say there will possibly not be another one,” Ashley said. “So we’ve got to try to find a way to handle the negative situations and glean something positive out of them.”