UUs and Black Lives Matter Banners

Bethesda, MD: The River Road UU's sign was defaced twice.
All across the country, UU congregations are putting up "Black Lives Matter" banners. Sometimes this attracts the attention of people who don't like that message. In the following cities, UU congregations have posted Black Lives Matter banners which were then vandalized or stolen -- which made the news.

Annapolis, MD. Banner stolen. READ HERE.

Chandler, AZ. Banner defaced, "all" written over "black." READ HERE.

The sign at the Arlington, MA UU Church
Arlington, MA. Their banner has been repeatedly defaced -- usually with the word "black" crossed through and the word "all" written in. This happened despite the fact that their banner actually includes the words:
"Of course all lives matter. We believe every individual is important and every person deserves to be treated with justice and compassion. We live, however, in a society that often suggests otherwise. Because of the continuing injustice and violence disproportionately faced by people of color, we affirm that Black Lives Matter." READ HERE.

Bethesda, MD. Word "Black" cut out of the banner. READ HERE.

Pittsburgh, PA. A smaller yardsign saying "Black Lives Matter" was stolen. The next five signs put up in its place were vandalized then stolen. READ HERE.

In Reno, NV, vandals wrote "WHITE" over the word "Black"
on the banner of the UU Fellowship.
Reno, NV and Bedford, MA: Banners vandalized. READ MORE. This article mentions that, as of Nov 13, more than 50 UU congregations have posted "Black Lives Matter" signs. At press time, 17 had reported their banner had been vandalized or stolen.

UU congregations aren't the only ones to be standing up for what's right. For instance, a Baptist church in Wayne, PA. READ HERE. And another Baptist church in Jamaica Plains, MA. READ HERE.

Of course, the signs don't always get vandalized. The UU congregation in Las Cruces, NM made news for taking the stand of support and putting up a Black Lives Matter sign. READ HERE.

And not all of the UU response to attacks or criticism has been noble. Our congregation in Chicago's Beverly community caved under pressure. READ HERE. Hearing of the Beverly congregation's withdrawal of their sign, Elizabeth Mount posted:
“As a Unitarian Universalist seminarian and a member of the First Unitarian Society of Denver, I am disappointed in this congregation’s conciliatory response to racist trolling. Our General Assembly this year agreed on national support of the ‪#blacklivesmatter‪ movement. We have had these conversations for over a year in many congregations, and this feels like a giant step backward. If we can’t even specifically say that black lives matter out loud and in print, how can we possibly say we don’t think black people are ‘less than’?”
Good question, Elizabeth.

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