A week after an event was held commemorating the new Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Sebastopol, someone spray painted over the first few letters of the piece — writing “all” in white, over the bright yellow letters of the word “Black.”
The spray paint was discovered on Friday, July 31, by the Black Lives Matter Visibility Team, the group who spearheaded the mural’s creation.
In a statement posted to their Instagram account, the team explained their use of the phrase Black Lives Matter: “While we know that all lives matter, we also know that this phrase was created as a direct negative response to the Black Lives Matter movement. By saying ‘All Lives Matter’ you are overlooking the fact that black people in this country have been treated unfairly, disrespected and have not been seen for far too long in America. You are silencing the voices of the people who are standing up and saying, ‘Enough is enough. I want to be treated equally and at least MATTER in this country.’ Stop silencing black people. Stop silencing people of color. Start listening and learning because all lives can’t matter until black lives matter!”
In the post, the team said that they are working on fixing the mural and that it should be fixed soon. The bright yellow words were painted with durable road paint, and the spaces in between each letter were filled in with the handprints of community members during an event on July 25.
The group hasn’t reached out to the Sebastopol Police Department to discuss the vandalism, but is planning to have a group meeting to discuss what next steps may look like when it comes to making sure the piece is secure.
Sonoma West Times & News reached out to the Sebastopol Police Department, who did not immediately respond when asked if the department was looking into the incident.
This is a developing story.