WW presents "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
Last week, the Rev. E.D. Mondainé delivered a controversial sermon in the pages of The Washington Post.
The president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP rebuked white Portland protesters for what he described as a hijacking of the Black Lives Matter movement for a self-indulgent tantrum against President Trump.
"The 'Wall of Moms,' while perhaps well-intentioned, ends up redirecting attention away from the urgent issue of murdered black bodies," he wrote. "This might ease the consciences of white, affluent women who have previously been silent in the face of black oppression, but it's fair to ask: Are they really furthering the cause of justice, or is this another example of white co-optation?"
Mondainé's op-ed struck a nerve—and launched a fierce, ongoing debate among Portland progressives about the racial composition and confrontational tactics outside the federal courthouse.
Mondainé, who is senior pastor at Celebration Tabernacle and the proprietor of Po'Shine's Cafe de la Soul, makes no apologies. In an interview with WW Editor Mark Zusman, he stands by his message, saying "This is no time for a circus."
We asked him: Is there a place for white Portlanders in the streets? He answered, with one precise example.