MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Moss Point man says the mayor’s recent painting in front of City Hall is “racist” and that’s why he painted over part of it Wednesday morning.
First thing Wednesday, Loper used black paint to paint of the fist, leaving the words “BLACK LIVES MATTER” alone.
Comparing the raised black fist to the Confederate flag, Tommy Loper said it’s a racist symbol that is not helping unify people in the city.
“All lives matter but (a) black power symbol is just like the stars and bars in the Confederate flag,” said Loper in a Facebook post. He added that the fist is “racist and not needed in Moss Point.”
Mayor King told WLOX on Wednesday that the city did not intend to file charges against Loper because it is a state roadway, not a municipal one.
Shortly after, he took to Facebook, saying his painting “was vandalized by a white man that lacked the cultural competence and understanding of the pain, adversity, and experience of the BLACK LIFE.”
The raised black fist has been seen a lot lately across the country amid protests for racial injustice. But the symbol has long been used by civil rights advocates as a symbol of black liberation.
The black fist first became mainstreamed when it was used by the Black Panther Party, which was founded in the 60s to challenge police brutality against the Black community. the black power fist was repeatedly used as a symbol of black liberation.
Photos and video footage of the Black Panthers saluting each other with raised fists at conventions, meetings and rallies solidified the symbol as synonymous with the fight for black civil rights.
The black fist once again became popular by the Black Lives Matter movement after it was formed in 2014 following the death of Michel Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Activists said that the fist was meant to represent the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose.
Ever since then, it’s been a symbol shared widely on social media and at rallies and protests, meant to emphasize resistance and defiance.