Getting an advanced education shouldn’t come with a side course of bigotry, but sadly it appears to be a constant occurrence in the news on multiple occasions.
Washington University is the latest to experience racism on its campus, this time in the form of vandalizing a prominent mural featuring historic Black icons that was defaced with symbols of white supremacy. Officials at the school in St. Louis have vowed to identify whoever is responsible.
It appears the crime happened sometime over the weekend, with students at the St. Louis school reporting the racist symbols to university officials on Saturday night. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the markings appeared to be of a logo synonymous with a white supremacist hate group linked to the infamous 2017 “Unite the Right” rally.
More on the mural itself below, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“The mural is titled ‘The Story That Never Ends’ and was created by six local artists before the start of 2020 fall classes, according to the university’s Student Life newspaper. The artists ‘worked together to create the vibrant and emotionally stirring Underpass mural, bringing a message of social justice to the space.’
Figures who were depicted included Homer G. Phillips, a Black civil rights attorney who in the 1920s advocated for a new hospital serving Black residents; Annie Malone, who made a fortune selling hair-care products and founded the St. Louis Colored Orphans Home; and Robert L. Williams, a former Washington University professor who coined the term ‘Ebonics’ for the variety of English spoken by African Americans.
The mural also included other prominent figures in Black history such as the late civil rights activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis; and actor and playwright Chadwick Boseman, who played the superhero in Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ film and died just as the mural was being created.”
Thankfully plans have been set in motion for the artists who originally commissioned the piece to repair it in the near future. It also appears cameras were in place near the mural and may soon lead to finding out who was responsible, with university officials stating, “We will be able to identify and hold these individuals responsible for their disgraceful actions.”
Let’s pray that instances like this become few and far in-between, or nonexistent altogether, as we continue to move towards a more peaceful and united future as a nation.