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In the runup to the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, officials in a northern California city immediately denounced and took down a “white lives matter” banner that anonymously showed up on public property at a busy intersection on Saturday morning hung between two poles. Any signage without a permit is illegal.
“This is despicable and we removed it immediately,” said Union City, Calif., Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci about the messaging. A police investigation is pending.
The mayor is connecting this incident with the universally condemned riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 that started out as a mostly peaceful protest for the thousands in attendance, a fallback position for many politicians recently who are advocating guilt by association.
Emphasizing the municipality’s tradition for inclusion and diversity, the mayor asserted that “Any kind of racism in Union City is unwelcome and will not be tolerated. It is very alarming for anybody to put up a ‘white lives matter’ banner because it connotates the racism that is going on across the country with the events happening, trying to take over the country at the Capitol.”
Union City is located in the very liberal San Francisco Bay area, about 20 miles south of Oakland.
In a statement, the city similarly declared that it was “disgusted by this despicable act of vandalism that has occurred on the heels of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week and on the weekend of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday that celebrates the life and achievements of this important civil rights leader.
“While some may believe what happened at the United States Capitol could not happen here, this incident, unfortunately, shows how divisiveness at the national level can permeate even our community.”
“Disgusted by this despicable act of vandalism.”
This "White Lives Matter" banner in Union City is no longer on display at Smith & Dyer.
The mayor also says the city immediately took down the banner. Police now watching for hate-fueled crimes. https://t.co/jpxEv3h9hx pic.twitter.com/CcAWtyw69T
— Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) January 17, 2021
Local officials say they are on high alert to prevent any further racist incidents of this kind in the context of the upcoming presidential inauguration.
Many Twitter users weighed in on this incident. Here is just a sample:
Disgusting that someone even hung this up. Definition of White privileged!
— The Truth about Chesa Boudin (@TruthAboutChesa) January 17, 2021
Oh wait a minute I’m confused. So Black Lives Matter signs are ok but White Lives signs are not?
— John H Freeland Jr (@jfreejr) January 17, 2021
Not vandalism, just stupid. 🙄🤦🏼♀️
— Daria 2.0 (@ilymdj1915) January 17, 2021
If that banner is racist, then shouldn’t BLM banners also be racist? Please explain the double standard.
— Brian (@bchan002) January 17, 2021
You know, both white and black lives matter seem to say they are better then anybody else. Take it ALL down…
— Shadowdancer (@DQuarbo) January 17, 2021
Watch a report from the local NBC affiliate about the discovery of the white lives matter banner:
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