Vandals Paint Over Black Lives Matter Mural in Battle Creek
Somebody defaced Battle Creek’s Black Lives Matter murals at the former Village Inn Apartments site. Last Sunday night or early Monday morning, vandals used a paint roller to cover much of the artwork with white paint. I’m damned mad about it. No matter who you are, you should be too.
Like most of you, I was brought up to respect other people’s right to express their views any way they like, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody else, or break the law. Lately, it seems like nobody believes that anymore.
Was it done by drunken bigots with tiny little minds and too much time on their hands? Likely. Or was it a more nefarious act by someone who just wanted to try and divide our community? Quite possible. There are a lot of angry people out there right now.
But Battle Creek has not had the riots that many communities have seen over this summer. There has been a lot of positive dialog, positive demonstration, and this mural project is perhaps one of the most positive ways that people have used to express themselves. I loved the idea of it. And I loved the finished product. That's why I donated to the GoFundMe campaign.
Battle Creek Police Chief Jim Blocker says police are working through leads in the case.
Much of the white paint has already been removed, at least as much as possible. A large group of community members has been working to restore the murals since Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, artist Mariah Compton, a 2019 Battle Creek Central graduate, was working on her portion of the mural.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise funds to help complete the restoration along with adding some safety measures and to improve the overall appearance of the area around the wall. As of mid-day on Wednesday, the effort had raised about $4700.00. Here’s the note on the page:
Hello! As you may know, recently the Black Lives Matter Mural project in Battle Creek has fallen victim to vandalism. We are raising funds to pay for supplies for artists to recreate or touch up their pieces, and to fund more protective measures for the wall. $2500 will be used to restore the murals and $2500 and up will be used to improve safety and work to create a beautiful public space. We would greatly appreciate any donations, art supplies included. Please reach out to @ColortheCreek on Social Media. Thank you! ✊