The latest case of vandals destroying Black Lives Matter murals was seen in Ypsilanti, Michigan, on Sunday when a white supremacist group painted over the saying which serves as a rallying cry for social justice advocates around the world. According to Click On Detroit, the perpetrators are identified as Patriot Front, a racist, anti-Semitic group.
The white supremacists destroyed one of the two 260-foot murals painted by members of the community earlier this year. White paint now covers the Black Lives Matter sign which was unveiled to the public on Juneteenth after dozens of volunteers worked together to complete the project.
“The damage speaks for itself on the amount of hatred they had to produce something like that,” Trische’ Duckworth, a community organizer and activist, said.
Duckworth adds that she is not surprised by the heinous act.
“Before we even did this we knew it was a possibility,” she said. “What shocked me is they didn’t to it sooner, to be honest. This is the America that we live in right now.”
But the community is already working on a plan to restore the mural.
“This group may have paint, but we have more paint,” Duckworth said. “This group doesn’t have what we have — we have love, community and togetherness and that’s what’s going to get us through.”
The activist adds that she is terrified of living among racists, saying “I’m very scared. I don’t get scared often.”
“I’m very alarmed at what could happen. They were very intentional to only blot out ‘Black Lives’ and not ‘Matter,’” she continued.
Community members are now offering to donate surveillance cameras that can be installed near the mural.
“Good people are surfacing,” Duckworth said. “We cried together and we embraced each other yesterday.”
Similar acts of vandalism were seen across the country during the Black Lives Matter uprising that followed the death of George Floyd last year.
In Arlington, Massachusetts, at least four Black Lives Matter signs were destroyed in Aug. 2020. Two churches, along with two homes, in the town had their signs vandalized, Boston 25 News reported.
In Washington D.C., faith leaders came together to hang a new banner at the Asbury United Methodist Church after vandals destroyed their original sign, according to WUSA9.