KOKOMO, Ind. (WISH) — A Kokomo man is looking to put a positive spin on something negative in our society. He’s hoping to get his message across with an online campaign.
He launched a crowd funding page to raise money for a trip to Africa, but he said the campaign is much more than just a free trip.
“I just thought of a fun way to come back at them and that’s what I came up with, send me back to Africa campaign,” said Larry Mitchell. “It just took off from there.”
Mitchell told 24-Hour News 8 the campaign was never about going to Africa in the first place, but sending message.
He said it all started after reading comments on social media about the recent shootings across the country. He said he wanted to find a way to respond to people posting comments like, “Go back to Africa.”
“I’ve seen people going back and forth and I would see, ‘go back to Africa’ and then you know I went to another site and I (would see) more comments, ‘go back to Africa’,” Mitchell said. “Like every time Serena (Williams) wins a tennis match or (Floyd) Mayweather wins a fight, I see ‘go back to Africa’.”
Mitchell responded by starting a GoFundMe page on July 2nd for a campaign to raise money to send him back to Africa.
“You can put your money where your hate is just depending on what you hate,” Mitchell said. “Put your money towards trying to fix it, that’s what the message is.”
Mitchell said the message goes beyond the color of your skin.
“If you hate the things that (are) going on with the kids in the streets, put your money where your hate is. If you, like, hate what’s going on at the school system then put your money into the school, put your money where your hate is, that’s where I want to take it you know,” Mitchell said.
According to Mitchell, so far the response has been positive with support from family, friends, and coworkers.
“I’m just having fun with it and enjoying it while it lasts and hopefully the message will come across, we can get something solved by this,” he said.
Mitchell has been out of the country a couple of times, but never to Africa. He said he would consider taking the trip if he raises enough money.
But for now he’s hoping people will take a closer look at the meaning of the message.
“You know, glory be the God and we (are) just going to see what happens. Through this God is speaking through me right now and I’m speaking (to) ya’ll,” he said. “I just want people to stay positive with it, put your money where your hate is and let’s try to fix the problem that’s going on in America right now.”
The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $1,300 as of Tuesday night.
If he doesn’t go to Africa, Mitchell said he’s planning to give some of the money to his little cousin so she can go to the junior Olympics in California.