Members of the racist group “Proud Boys” reportedly destroyed “Black Lives Matter” signs on church properties during a protest this weekend against Joe Biden‘s election victory.
Or, to put that another way, a group of people that routinely argues for “religious freedom” vandalized churches because of a disagreement.
One video posted on Twitter showed the scene outside the Asbury United Methodist Church:
— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) December 13, 2020
Another video, posted by the right-wing Daily Caller, showed the protesters setting the sign on fire:
The Proud Boys and Trump supporters burn the BLM banner while chanting and cheering in downtown DC: pic.twitter.com/L16azBBhbr
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) December 13, 2020
Burning these signs is reminiscent of cross burnings by the KKK during the Civil Rights movement — and that’s no coincidence, according to Religion News Service’s Jack Jenkins:
Another Washington church, Luther Place Memorial, claimed in a series of Instagram posts that its Black Lives Matter sign was stolen and replaced three times since Friday, when Trump supporters first began to arrive in the city. The post claimed one of the incidents involved Proud Boys descending on the church where they “harassed” Luther Place leaders before taking the sign away.
Footage of demonstrators ripping down and destroying a Black Lives Matter sign at Metropolitan AME Church — which, like Asbury, is a historically Black congregation — was also widely shared. As a group of black-and-yellow-clad demonstrators hop the church fence and rip apart the sign, someone can be heard chanting “burn it!”
Remember that this group was mentioned by name by Donald Trump, the so-called not racist president, to “stand back and stand by.” With tacit (and sometimes overt) support from the president, and not enough white evangelical leaders calling out this bigotry, it’s no wonder members of these groups feel no shame in perpetuating the problem. They’ll even go after other Christians if they acknowledge and fight against systemic racism.
It’s faith-based hatred. It must be condemned, or else it’ll only get worse.