GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One Gulfport man tried to create a spark he believes our country needs right now, armed only with a sign and a message of hope.
David Johnson is braving the heat of the Mississippi summer to make a difference. He has been standing in the median on Hwy. 49 in Gulfport holding a sign that says "Pro Humanity" since before 7 a.m.
Recent violent events in Baton Rouge, LA, Minnesota and Dallas, TX, urged him out of his comfort zone.
"This stuff is happening, and I feel like it's happening next door to me. It's hitting home," said Johnson.
Johnson took his own approach to raise awareness. His sign touted a message that differed from many other signs at rallies and protests around the nation. The words "Pro Humanity" floated above a giant red heart in bold letters.
"I just wanted to take it even further and say before skin color even. We're humans first, and I think that needs to be recognized once again," said Johnson.
Johnson believes we, as a nation, are getting away from love, and it doesn't take violence to get back to the basics.
Johnson hasn't lost hope. Those driving by could see that.
"He's trying to make a point. He really is. We all live here. We're all brothers and sisters. We all live together," said one driver.
"He's trying to get back and show these black folks and white folks, colored people, that we all can unite together as one. It's not hard," said Tatasha Martin as she was passing by.
Martin was so inspired that she parked and got out to help Johnson spread his message. It didn't go unnoticed.
"I think it's good. It's the other side that the media doesn't tell you about," said Beulah Coblentz.
"I just think we all need to think about being human first and not worry about what color our skin is," said Eddie Graham.
Johnson believes we have come a long way in accepting one another, differences and all.
"I feel like last week was a lot of speed bumps in that progress that's being made," said Johnson.
He said it's time to make an effort to get back on track.
"We've got to do better. Everybody. Everybody has to do better," Johnson said.
Johnson believes if he changes just one heart, his efforts will be worthwhile.