'Do I scare you?' London, Ont. boy's image a plea for action
LONDON, ONT. -- It is powerful photo that - without question - has sparked a reaction. The banner reads “Do I scare you?” Pictured is 10-year-old Mitchell Musvosvi.
The image, shared hundreds of times on social media, is asking people to question their beliefs and biases.
Mitchell tells CTV News the photo, and a powerful poem accompanying it, are from his perspective. He says both were inspired by a picture he saw online.
“There was like a kid, who was about as young as me, that had a sign, that said, ‘Am I next? Am I going to be killed when I’m older or even now.’”
But while the picture may be in response to the killing of George Floyd and the protests that followed, the conservation around racism has been an ongoing discussion for his family.
Mitchell is the oldest of four children of Caitlin Murphy and her husband, Jon Musvosvi. She is white, he is Black.
Murphy says she and her husband had spoken to Mitchell, their oldest child, about the protests and the historical context behind it.
From there, Mitchell asked questions and the photo, asking us all a question, was created.
“Like obviously he’s not scary now, but when does he move from being cute to threatening in some peoples eyes,” Murphy asks.
She is hopeful her son will avoid the fear the picture portrays as he grows, and it's an emotional plea, given what Mitchell’s father has already faced.
“He has been pulled over and questioned, just for existing while Black. We sort of wonder at what point will Mitchell have to face this too."
Mitchell, who prior to taking the picture admits to being a quiet kid, says he’s been awakened.
“It’s feels like I’m going to do something to make other people do the same thing."
And that 'thing' is action, ‘Action through Love,’ because as Mitchell says, “One person won’t do much but 10,000 people can do a lot.”
They are words his mother also believes, as they both call for the public to not only stand up for what’s right, but to ensure measurable change occurs.