Mural by: Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander and Pablo Hernandez

To the white woman who crossed the street to avoid me today:

I saw you coming, masked and middle aged
Down the street of my church
Toward me, a minister of faith
As I waited to meet a different white woman
Who I had not seen before in person.

Unfamiliar, I searched your face from a distance
And surmised it was not you I was meant to meet.
But you fully introduced yourself to me
Without a word or a gesture
When you visibly stiffened
And “New England avoided” my gaze
While I stood there
Watching you
As you deliberately and most intentionally
Crossed the street
To avoid any proximity to me
Like I would do you harm.

There I stood
On the other side of your whiteness
Looking more youthful than my 56 years
Baseball cap
Athletic body
Slim, virile
And also masked
…but Brown
The only darkness in the bright afternoon of your sunny spring day.

There I stood
A threat to you
And I watched as you force stared steely eyed
Into a distance beyond me
Where you would be safely
Away from me
And this “confrontation”
Between your peaceful white walk
And my dangerous black gaze
(On my street.)

And I thought to myself
“I’m standing beside my church…
The one I lead
As minister/ CEO
The one with my name outside
The one I work to keep safe
The one for which I memorialize the dead
And name the newly born
For fuck’s sake, even at my church, I’m not safe
From goddamned white fear

On the anniversary
Of the murder of George Floyd
I’m reminded
That whiteness is a weapon
Wielded suddenly, irrationally
Without consequence.
And whiteness doesn’t need a knee for nine minutes
Or a tazer or a gun to murder
In a thousand different toxic ways



Article about the George Floyd mural artists:

Links to other work of the artists:

Xena GoldmanCadex Herrera, Greta McLain Niko Alexander and Pablo Hernandez

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