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Mural defacement speaks to malicious attitudes in nation

A disturbing but not unexpected report from the Lower Peninsula is another sign of the times, troubling as they may be.

The Associated Press reports that a Black Lives Matter street mural painted this summer in Ypsilanti has been defaced by vandals who covered part of it with white paint.

The weekend attack left the 260-foot mural’s words Black Lives drenched in white paint, while the word Matter was untouched.

This is bad enough. Making it even worse was the fact that vandals left behind the painted name of a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group, AP reported.

“It was an ugly display of hatred,” Trische Duckworth, executive director of the community organization Survivors Speak, told AP. “We will overcome this and rally together to restore the mural.”

We hope they do.

This isn’t the first mural of its type to be vandalized. These kinds of reports are becoming increasingly common across the country, including places such as New York, North Carolina, California, Ohio and Florida, to name just a few.

Arresting those responsible has proven to be difficult as the damage is almost always inflicted under the cover of darkness with few witnesses to observe.

We are distressed about this kind of lawless activity, not so much because of the damage it does but because of the malicious hate that drives it.

Complicating everything is the political polarization that has gripped the country.

Now, indeed, is the time for well-meaning people to step forward and demonstrate leadership that everyone can get behind.

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