Graffiti bearing the message "Black Lives Matter" has turned up on a memorial dedicated to the "Confederate Defenders of Charleston" who died at South Carolina's Fort Sumter, Yahoo News reports. This comes days after a shooting rampage at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., by a gunman who has been photographed with a Confederate flag, reigniting a national debate over symbols of the Confederacy, including the banner displayed on the grounds of South Carolina's Statehouse.
According to the report, bright-red spray paint with the popular slogan was discovered near the base of the statue; another side got the message "This is the problem #Racist."
City workers covered the graffiti with tarp, according to the Associated Press. Although authorities don't know who is responsible for the graffiti, a police spokesman said the matter would be investigated and the monument cleaned.
Yahoo News noted that the monument, erected in 1932 in White Point Garden, is less than 2 miles away from Emanuel AME.
Barry Tighe from Code Pink told news station WCIV that he and his associates were returning to Washington, D.C., after attending a memorial service on Sunday when they spotted the graffiti. Tighe created his own sign with the message "Take down racist statues."
"There's nothing divisive or violent about saying, 'Take down that evil symbol,' " he said. "This is a divisive statue, not our argument to take this down."
Not everyone agreed with such reasoning, however. Charleston native Xavier Rosado fashioned a sign that read, "All lives matter #CharlestonUnited."
"If you're not here to help Charleston, pray for Charleston, bring Charleston together, then why are you here?" Rosado told the news station. "We're trying to bring Charleston together. … We don't need people like [Tighe] breaking it apart."