KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City church community says they were the target of vandals after someone destroyed their Black Lives Matter banner.
The banner, which read “#BLM” and “No Peace Without Justice,” was located in front of South-Broadland Presbyterian Church on Holmes Road for months over the summer and early fall.
But Pastor Nicole Richardson said it was destroyed on election night after a busy day where the church acted as a polling location.
“Somewhere between 9 o’ clock at night and 7 o’ clock on Wednesday morning, someone came onto the grounds and eviscerated it,” Richardson said. “At first, I was absolutely shocked. Then I was quite angry, and then I became overwhelmingly sad that this had happened.”
Richardson said they put the BLM banner up in June after George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparking protests locally and nationwide.
As a predominately white congregation, she said her church wanted to show their support, solidarity and what it means to be outspoken allies, while also supporting members and neighbors who are Black.
“The church has been complicit in so many ways in so many generations from the beginning, quite honestly, beginning of this country. We can’t be silent anymore,” Richardson said.
“I am so sad that we continue to live as human beings that seem to be against each other, divided, so led by rage and division we can’t even come to the table to have meaningful dialogue.”
After the sign was destroyed, a neighbor encouraged church leadership to create a Gofundme account. The fundraising effort has raised more than $340 in order to replace the banner. All other funds will go toward a local organization that works for racial equality.
“When we saw that the sign had been destroyed, the leadership of this church, their immediate response was, ‘We got to get a new banner.’ They were not going to be bullied into being silenced. It was important to continue pushing forward,” Richardson said.
A police report was filed with the Kansas City Police Department.