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‘It’s a shame’ Vandal spray paints ‘White Lives Matter’ on South City church walls


By Jon Kipper

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    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — A church in South City was vandalized recently with a message that carries racial undertones.

Grace United Church of Christ is a small church nestled in the Holly Hills neighborhood.

But if you happened to go by it on Monday, you’d read “WHITE LIVES MATTER” on the side of the church.

“First thing I do is open the front door, and I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, look at that, what did they do to the church?”

The Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate organization, calls “White Lives Matter” a white supremacist phrase that originated in 2015 as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Lives Matter gained a lot of traction in 2014 following protests in Ferguson after a white police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was Black.

There are signs outside Grace United Church of Christ that said in part “Jesus didn’t reject people” and “reject racism.”

“It’s a shame because it’s obviously a really welcoming church, and that’s actually one of the things I liked about this neighborhood when I was looking for a house here,” said Sarah Williams, who lives in the neighborhood.

So it appears whoever vandalized the building was looking to stir the pot.

“It is childish. I’m hoping that kids did it, and when they grow up, they won’t be doing that anymore, and they’ll look back on it and say, ‘boy what an idiot I was,” said Mike Steinfeld.

Steinfeld said he has lived next door to the church building for 43 years. He said this type of behavior doesn’t fit the neighborhood.

“I mean, we got our problems in this neighborhood, but nobody is putting up graffiti that I know of on any of the buildings around here,” said Steinfeld.

And after efforts to remove the paint failed Monday, neighbors like Diane Minard plan to regroup on Tuesday.

“Bunch of us are going to meet down there at 10 or 11 to see if we can get it cleaned up,” said Minard.

First Alert 4 reached out to the church for a comment on the graffiti and have not heard back.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said they could not locate a police report on the incident.

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