WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - After four and a half years of displaying a "Black Lives Matter" sign inside, the Unitarian Universalists Fellowship of Waynesboro decided to put the sign on the outside of the building.
“When the Black Lives Matter movement started, it was something that we easily found a place in relation to,” Reverend Paul Oakley, the minister of the fellowship, said.
Unitarian Universalists have seven principles that they are guided by, the first being, “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” The seventh is, “the interdependent web of all existence in which we are a part.”
"Those two, framing the seven, really give us a framework for doing something for justice, rather than just wishing things were different," Rev. Oakley said.
Tuesday, July 28, Rev. Oakley saw a Facebook post that showed pictures that the sign had been vandalized, and two community members were trying to clean it off.
The word "Black" was been scribbled out, and the word "ALL" was written on either side.
Rev. Oakley said he wasn’t surprised that it happened, but he is disappointed. He said Unitarian Universalists have long been committed to the Black Lives Matter movement and they are not going to let this vandalism deter them from continuing to spread the message.
“Those of us who are white can’t act like our comfort is more important than this overall project of ultimately changing society into something that is more just and something that makes a place for everyone,” Rev. Oakley said.
He said he is not disagreeing that all lives are valuable, but that it’s important to realize Black people are at a greater risk in our society.
“More than ever before, we have to say that Black lives matter, because until Black lives are shown to matter, actually matter in every way, then ‘all’ is a lie,” Rev. Oakley said.
A new “Black Lives Matter” sign has been put up to replace the defaced one.
Article courtesy WHSV