Black Lives Matter Mural Defaced To Read ‘All Lives Matter’
Police are investigating an ‘act of vandalism’ after a Black Lives Mural outside of Chicago was defaced to read ‘All Lives Matter’.
Authorities in Oak Park, a village near the Illinois city, said the incident took place overnight from Tuesday, July 7, into the following morning. The mural, nearly 100ft in width and located near Oak Park and River Forest High School, had only been painted two weeks ago.
While police have yet to make any arrests connected with the vandalism, officers have ‘gathered evidence they hope will identify’ those responsible.
After a portion of the mural with the word ‘Black’ was covered up to read ‘All Lives Matter’, the graffiti was largely cleaned off by 10am the next morning. Officials from Oak Park, the Arts Council and the local artists who created the mural will also meet to discuss what additional work will be required to restore it further.
Oak Park Area Arts Council Executive Director Camille Wilson White told the Chicago Tribune: ‘The public works department did a really good job of getting that [material] that was used to deface the mural up… it cleaned up really well. There are some areas that the artists eventually may want to look at restoring some of the paint.’
One of the artists, Kasani Cannon, told Fox 32 Chicago: ‘The movement lives within us. You can paint over it, you can drive over it, but once this mural dries, our movement still goes on. It’s unfortunate, but I think it’s good we get to see in my opinion the true colours of Oak Park.’
As per NBC Chicago, the mural is ‘considered a testament to community acknowledgement of the Black Lives Matter movement that has focused public attention on the inequities and systemic racism that have such a negative impact on people of colour’.
The mural itself also reflects the colours of the LGBTQ+ Pride flag, as well as navy blue and orange for the local high school. ‘The mural is quite stunning. It’s radiant,’ White said.
Another artist who helped paint the mural, Zaria Gilmore, also said that it wasn’t ‘shocking at all to see there are people who thought they were entitled enough to paint over what we’ve done here’.
While Oak Park police continue to investigate, two Trump supporters who attempted to paint over a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California, have been charged with a hate crime, as well as vandalism and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
CreditsChicago Tribune and 3 others
Fox 32 Chicago