LUBBOCK, TX - One local man is speaking out against the tragedy that spiraled out of Charlottesville, Virginia from over the weekend, by taking to the streets of Lubbock and asking the community to "stop the hate" and "show compassion."
On Sunday and Monday, 24-year-old Josh McCollum has stood at the corner of 19th and University with a Sharpie marker and simple sign that reads, "No money needed. Just stop the hate and show love and compassion to each other."
McCollum is a sophomore at Texas Tech with plans to study astrophysics. He shared he's never done something like this before, but said he's happy he went through with it. For McCollum, the Charlottesville tragedy was the last straw.
"We're all human beings, we were all put on this earth for some reason and there's too much hate in this word and just not enough love, not enough compassion," said McCollum. "Your kids are watching this on the news, there are kids growing up, seeing this thinking it's okay this is what America is, and that's not right. That's not how it should be."
So far, McCollum said the response has been overall positive. Several drivers have slowed down to ask him about what he's doing, taken pictures of his sign, given him the 'thumbs-up' sign, and one passerby dropped by a free lunch for him.
Many have also pulled over to give him money. McCollum has refused each time, but said it's the token of kindness that he appreciates.
"A lot of people think I'm trying to get money and that's not the case, but I'm glad they're showing that because that means that they are showing compassion," said McCollum. "I'm not out here for money, I'm not out here for anything or anybody. I'm just out here to show love and show compassion, and tell them if no one else loves you in this world, 'Hey I do, and I don't even know you.'"
McCollum said he plans to be out at the same spot of 19th and University every Sunday and Monday until he feels as though he "doesn't need to be anymore." Until then, he encourages community members to stop by and say hi, and sign his sign.
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