Vandals Strike Winston-Salem Church, Take "Black Lives Matter" Banner

Vandals Strike Winston-Salem Church, Take "Black Lives Matter" Banner

9:39am Apr 24, 2018
The word "white" was spray-painted on the front doors of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem. Photo courtesy Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Vandals struck a Winston-Salem church over the weekend, the latest incident in an ongoing issue the church has had over its “Black Lives Matter” sign.

The sign was stolen and the word “white” was spray-painted in black on the front door of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Winston-Salem.

Rev. Lisa Schwartz is the pastor. She says the congregation has long worked for civil rights. But even as some victories have been gained, she says they can never be taken for granted.

“Frankly I feel that some of our members felt like we fought this in the 50s and 60s and some into the 70s, and this is a done deal now,” she says. “But in recent years it’s become really apparent that racial hatred, racial injustice is so much still a part of society.”

The church bought two banners when they initially bought the “Black Lives Matter” sign a few years ago - one to hang from the church, and another to march with during such events as the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade.

This isn’t the first of them to be taken. When one is stolen, the church hangs the backup and orders a new one, so church members were able to replace the stolen banner after Sunday’s service.

This is the first time vandalism has accompanied a theft of one of the signs.

Schwartz says she’s been encouraged by the community's response to the vandalism. She says people have stepped up to pay for the cost for replacement banners and to have the doors repainted.

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