Kent Pilot file photo: Ward 3 Councilman Ellsworth Tolliver

After having read countless emails both for and against the painting of Street Murals in Chestertown, we have to wonder just why such passion exists over the exercise of the right to call for justice and equality has been met with such distaste and anger.

What are we afraid will happen if the murals are allowed?  Are we afraid that the true colors will come out from the opposition that reflects an inherent hatred toward black and brown people?

Are we afraid that those who oppose and disagree with the message of Black Lives Matter will make attempts to post their messages in the streets? 

Are we afraid that once we open the door to one group other groups we really want to keep hidden will come forth and disrupt the supposed “charm” of Chestertown, letting the world know this town is not all it’s made up to be? 

I say bring it on.  We should not be afraid to let opposing groups posts their messages of hate and indifference as they will show how people of this grand colonial town really feel about its citizens who do not share the sentiments of the dominant culture. 

These murals are reflective of deep seeded pain and disappointment suffered by the Black citizens of Chestertown.  As a result, the White community has chosen to call on the rule of law to help protect its privilege and dominance over the right to pursue liberty and express free speech.  While the rule of law is our accepted mode of operation within a civil society, it is most called upon to protect White Privilege from coming to grips with its sordid past and history

There has been much discussion as to what might happen if this project is allowed to go forward…has anybody considered what might happen to the equilibrium of White Privilege if the project is denied?

Chestertown (quoting and paraphrasing Former President Barak Obama as he made comments on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge) “is not some outlier in the American experience.  That’s why it’s not a museum or a static monument to behold from a distance.  It is instead the manifestation of a creed written into our founding documents: “We the People…in order to form a more perfect union.”  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” 

“These are not just words.  They’re a living thing, a call to action, a roadmap for citizenship and an insistence in the capacity of free men and women to shape our own destiny.  That’s what this movement was all about, one leg in our long journey toward freedom.” 

As we prepare ourselves for the upcoming vote that will decide the outcome of the Street Murals in Chestertown, let us also be prepared for the outcome of our decisions.


Rev. Ellsworth L.Tolliver

Chestertown Councilman 3rd Ward