My heart is heavy. It’s the news. It’s the trial in our home town for the death of George Floyd. It’s Daunte Wright. It’s Atlanta. Kenosha. Indianapolis. It’s gathering stories under the shadow of a Confederate statue. It’s visiting lynching sites. But it’s more than that. It’s how quickly each event is spun and re-spun, then spun again. It’s how animosity instantly takes root in the space compassion should claim. It’s how tragedies are weaponized and turned on the victims. […]
A Peace of My Mind visited Oxford, Mississippi’s country courthouse, where a contested Confederate statue stands at the center of the town square. We asked people, “What does this statue mean to you?” Over two afternoons, 36 people chose to participate and these are the stories they shared.
It was more awkward than I had imagined—as a white guy—to stand in the middle of a busy intersection to take a photograph of the Confederate statue. It was the reason we had come to town, to have conversations about monuments and race. But somehow, the moment I raised my camera, I felt conspicuous. It’s the same feeling I had when I pulled over in my pickup truck in Idaho and stepped out to ask the woman feeding her chickens […]
I suppose there is a line to be drawn from the Easter story to Dr King’s assassination in Memphis in 1968 to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis a year ago. Perhaps a learned theologian could articulate conclusions more clearly than me. Maybe a great philosopher could connect the dots in a way that would help everyone see the light. I’m still working on it. Last week I stood outside the Hennepin County Government Center at the start of […]
Peyton Scott Russell is a Minneapolis graffiti artist and street artist who painted a 12′ x 12′ black and white spray paint portrait of George Floyd during the curfew and installed it at the bus stop at the intersection of 38th and Chicago, where Floyd was killed by police on May 25, 2020. “Graffiti is the voice of people. I don’t want to go into it too politically because it really resides with the individual and what they’re trying to […]