YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) — Since early June, a Black Lives Matter mural at Riverside Park in Ypsilanti has been on full display. However, this weekend, it was covered up in the middle of the night.
“It's sad," said Triche Duckworth, co-leader of the Ypsilanti BLM Mural Project. "It's disheartening because it just shows the anger and hatred towards Black people.”
The got approval back in February to paint the bold yellow letters stretching across the park driveway.
“This is not just words on the street, this is a statement that we are tired and we will be seen as Black people,” Duckworth said.
However, unknown vandals defaced that statement, leaving splatters of white paint across the words. The city’s mayor stopped by to see the damage.
“We’ve had some really racist incidents in Ypsilanti in years gone by, but nothing like this right now recently,” said Ypsilanti mayor Lois Allen-Richardson.
The Mayor says this project was meant to unite the city, and the division has to stop.
"Each one of us needs to look inside, pull out our biases, deal with them and get rid of them," Allen-Richardson said. "That’s the only way we’re going to see a change not just in Ypsilanti, but a change in our nation.”
Despite the damage, the leaders of the mural say their goal of unity remains the same. Vowing these vandals only made that goal easier to reach.
“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to bond together in love because that is exactly what we are going to do," Duckworth said. "You thought you did something, but you only made us stronger. So thank you.”
What’s next is still to be decided. The project leaders say they will be meeting with the City Council on Tuesday to discuss the next steps.