YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — A “Black Lives Matter” street mural painted this summer in southeastern Michigan has been defaced by vandals who covered part of it with white paint.
The weekend attack in Ypsilanti left the 260-foot mural's words “Black Lives” drenched in white paint, while the word “Matter” was untouched.
Trische Duckworth, executive director of the community organization Survivors Speak, was joined Sunday by city officials and others who expressed outrage by the vandalism in the city about 35 miles (56 kilometers) southwest of Detroit.
“It was an ugly display of hatred,” Duckworth said.
She said that no matter who defaced the mural, the act shows that racism and white supremacy “are not a thing of the past. It’s alive and active.”
City manager Frances McMullan said law enforcement are investigating the vandalism. She said in a statement that the city was “sickened by this horrible act of destruction” but added that the mural would be restored.
“We will overcome this and rally together to restore the mural,” McMullan said.
The vandals left behind the painted name of a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group.
The Ypsilanti City Council approved the mural at the entrance of a city park in February. Volunteers painted the mural and a second one in June using donated paint.
Duckworth said the council is expected to discuss the defaced mural this week.