People turned out in Dublin Sunday to show support for a teen who expressed a commitment to social justice, which promoted an online response that had him shaken up.
It appears the man who posted the response expressed remorse and that there will be an attempt at understanding one another.
Denell McMahan noticed the turnout as he spoke to people near Dublin’s Civic Center.
“I just couldn’t imagine it, it’s very great to see there are so many supporters of the movement,” said McMahan.
Nearby was the sign for the Garden for Justice he helped organize with Tri Valley Black Lives. The 17-year-old high school senior recently learned of an online post threatening the small demonstration that grew into a sizeable rally.
The Dublin City Council had approved the rally, but Mike Grant didn’t. His Facebook post called on counter protestors to show up with “helmets and vests in case these BLM people start trouble.”
“That post on the conservative page was shared 29 times,” McMahan said. “That’s 30 people who could see me as a threat and put me in danger.”
Grant didn’t return a call on Sunday but told NBC Bay Area earlier in the week that he got it all wrong.
He said since he’s gotten hate mail, he wanted his supporters to let people be.
“I never thought a 17-year-old boy would wake up a 65-year-old man,” Grant said.
McMahan’s dad has been in communication with the man and read a letter from him on Sunday.
“My actions on social media were not indented to cause any harm, but I see that it did and I’m sorry for this,” Grant wrote in the letter.
It even appears that they may meet.
“I have a text with Mike Grant, back and forth a couple times, to make sure he commits to what he told us he was going to do, which is meet our son,” said McMahan’s dad.
Some people that attended the rally on Sunday didn’t even know McMahan, but they came to support him.
“I felt it was really important to come out and defend the youth activists and the community and show that we support them,” said one attendee.