Police are investigating after the statue of civil rights activist and legendary tennis participant Arthur Ashe in Richmond, Virginia was discovered Wednesday vandalized with “White Lives Matter” graffiti. CBS affiliate WTVR experiences that Ashe’s memorial is the one statue on Memorial Avenue that’s not devoted to a Accomplice chief.
Video on social media confirmed a person who was on the memorial showing to defend the White Lives Matter indicators. The slogan is taken into account to be a white supremacist phrase that originated in 2015 as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter motion, in response to the Anti-Defamation League.
He was captured on digicam leaving after which returning to take away the Black Lives Matter indicators that had been already there whereas others had been seen eradicating the racist slogan.
After being confronted by a gaggle, the person, who was carrying a bandana with an American flag protecting his face and blue shirt, mentioned, “Do not all lives matter? Why is it okay to spray paint on this statue Black Lives Matter and never White Lives Matter, what is the distinction?”
“I am not a racist,” he mentioned. “I simply do not agree with folks desecrating our property.”
Earlier than leaving in a automotive with a South Carolina license plate, the person recognized himself as “All people” and claimed to have gone to a neighborhood highschool within the space. It isn’t recognized if he’s the individual chargeable for the White Lives Matter slogan. Nonetheless, WTVR aired footage of somebody in a gray sweater and darkish hat spray-painting them on the memorial.
Betsy Milburn was taking stroll along with her pal Fatima Pashaei after they encountered the vandalized statue.
“My pal and I had been strolling and had simply commented how good that nobody had tagged this explicit statue and it was the one one that really belonged as a monument,” she instructed CBS Information Thursday.
“I used to be shocked, dismayed, and offended,” Pashaei instructed CBS Information. “I feel in a time when black individuals are hurting a lot, to assault the one black statue on Monument Avenue, was deeply hurtful and offensive.”
Pashaei, who has lived within the Virginia for the final 16 years, mentioned she joined within the cleansing up of the mural afterwards. She famous that the person they got here throughout “wasn’t alone in his sentiments.”
“A number of folks cursed at us after they noticed us cleansing off the WLM graffiti,” she mentioned, including that it seems there is a “lot of Accomplice sympathizers” hanging round Memorial Avenue.
Ashe, who hails from Richmond, was the primary black man to win U.S Open, Australian and Wimbledon titles. Three years after his loss of life, his monument was erected in 1996 to counterbalance statues on the avenue crammed with Virginian Accomplice veterans.
Amid the protests which have adopted the loss of life of George Floyd, a minimum of a type of statues has been toppled and the opposite 4 are topic to pending removal, together with the one representing Accomplice Gen. Robert E. Lee.