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Let Us Paint Our Streets

Let Us Paint Our Streets

A letter of support for the painting of the street murals: Black Lives Matter and We Can’t Breathe from Chester River Behavioral Health, LLC ~ Richard G. Wirtz, Teresa I. Schaefer and Affiliates

Tonight, the Town Council of Chestertown will decide on whether Black lives matter. Their decision specifically pertains to two murals: one to be painted on High Street and one on College Avenue. They read BLACK LIVES MATTER and WE CAN’T BREATHE, respectively.

In recent weeks, many of our community members have shared their feelings on the intent and hope of these murals: Karen Somerville, Rev. Robert Brown, Wayne Gilchrest, Rev. Leon Frison, Rev. Ellsworth L. Tolliver, Brandy Barrett, DeeJay Real, Aretha Dorsey, Sherrie Tighlman, Rebecca Murphy, to name a few.

What is clear is that this simple gesture of paint on the streets, is important to our Black community; a community not unlike Black communities worldwide, that has suffered injustices simply because of the color of their skin.

As is the tradition of human behavior, with voices of support there are also those of dissent. These positions as articulated have given opportunity for conversations to happen and information to be shared. We are lucky to have the Social Action Committee for Racial Justice who has listened, provided forums for conversation, and answers to questions. We are grateful to them and to all the community who has taken the time and courage to share so openly.

At Chester River Behavioral Health we would like to go on record as saying YES to Black Lives Matter, YES to the murals.

Let us paint our streets, add color, so we may see the reflection of the “deep seeded pain and disappointment suffered by the Black citizens of Chestertown” that Rev. Ellsworth L. Tolliver speaks of.

Let us paint our streets so that we may see that while our ‘charming’ essence is sullied with racism, historical as well as current, there is potential for change.

Let us paint our streets so that we don’t have to see racism under the knee of a white officer.

Let us paint our streets, continue these hard conversations and “…embrace a message that is resonating WORLDWIDE…” (Rebecca Murphy).

As Pastor Frison states, “This is Kent County’s chance to make good, positive history.”

Chester River Behavioral Health says, YES to continuing our efforts to create a new history free from the pain of racism.


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