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‘Hate has no place here.’ Washtenaw County condemns defacing of Ypsilanti BLM mural

A tag on the mural reads "Patriot Front USA," a known white nationalist group.
A tag on the mural reads "Patriot Front USA," a known white nationalist group. (Trische' Duckworth)

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, leadership and staff released a statement earlier this week condemning the recent defacing of a Black Lives Matter mural in Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park.

On Sunday morning, its creators were told of the damage and arrived to find massive amounts of white paint splattered over the distinct 18-foot yellow letters, the paint still wet.

The mural was tagged by the Patriot Front, a nationwide racist and anti-Semitic group.

Read: Black Lives Matter mural defaced in Ypsilanti

The mural was created by members of the Ypsilanti community, who came together over two days to paint two BLM murals in the city.

In a statement, the county said it “condemns the hate and vitriol aimed at one of our county’s greatest symbols of community and inclusion.”

A day after the mural was defaced, local activist and the mural’s co-creator Trische’ Duckworth told A4 in an interview that the community plans to paint over the damage.

“This group may have paint, but we have more paint,” said Duckworth. “This group doesn’t have what we have -- we have love, community and togetherness and that’s what’s going to get us through.”

Read: Ypsilanti community creates Black Lives Matter street murals

Read the full Washtenaw County statement below:

The Board of Commissioners, leadership and staff of Washtenaw County condemns the hate and vitriol aimed at one of our county’s greatest symbols of community and inclusion. We are disappointed but not deterred by the vandalizing of the “Black Lives Matter” mural in Riverside Park in Ypsilanti. We stand in solidarity with the City of Ypsilanti and the dedicated community members who worked to make both the Riverside Park mural and the downtown mural a reality. Those efforts best reflect the partnership, unity and respect shared by the residents in our county. We continue to uplift these values.

While we are disappointed in the faction of self-proclaimed “patriots” who defaced the mural, our focus is and will remain ensuring that the county is a welcoming and equitable place for all. We are even more resolved to ensuring that our county government sets policies, allocates resources, supports community, and creates a culture that is welcoming and inclusive of people of all races and all walks of life. Hate has no place here. Black Lives Matter in Washtenaw County.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.