'White lives matter' banner taken down in California suburb, calling it 'a despicable act of vandalism'
A "White Lives Matter" banner went up on Sunday at Smith and Dyer streets in Union City CA, just north of Oakland. It was immediately taken down and denounced by officials.
"This is despicable and we removed it immediately," said Union City Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci. The sign was strategically placed in one of the town's busiest intersections.
"This made me upset and I hope it’s an isolated incident as it does not reflect the community of my city, the city of Union City," commented Kashmir Singh Shahi, the chairman of the city's Human Resources Commission.
According to the New York Post, the city government also released an official statement which reads, in part, "The city is 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. We are saddened, but this incident makes us want to work harder at promoting and reinforcing our community value of unity through diversity."
"White Lives Matter" is considered by groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center to be a slogan associated with "white supremacy", as it is used as a negative reaction to the original phrase "Black Lives Matter".