Destroying Historic Statues Isn't a Crime, Painting Over 'Black Lives Matter' Is

One of the most basic features of totalitarian systems is the wildly differing approaches to offenses based on ideology. And so we can have mobs destroying historic statues without a single arrest, but paint over the big yellow Black Lives Matter sign on the road and that will make for urgent action.

A white man, woman vandalized a Black Lives Matter mural on July 4, called racism 'a leftist lie,' California police say - USA Today

I like how "white" is in the headline, as if it's an added indictment, as is calling racism a "leftist lie".

Who knew that in a matter of years, USA Today would sound as deranged and hateful as North Korean propaganda.

Police in California are looking for a man and woman who vandalized a Black Lives Matter mural on the Fourth of July.

The "mural" consisted of the words BLM in yellow letters. It's as much of a mural as I am the greatest living writer in American history. But, if local authorities want to authorize a racist hate group to paint its racist slogan on the ground, that's perhaps their business. And that of the voters who elect them. But let's not pretend that scrawling a hateful slogan in yellow letters is a mural.

Or that painting it over is some horrible irreparable act of cultural destruction.

Not when the same hate group is destroying priceless works of art out of its hatred for this country.

The police department called the damage to the mural "divisive and hurtful." 

"The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural together only to have it painted over in a hateful and senseless manner," the Martinez Police Department said in a statement.

It doesn't sound at all senseless. It was a pretty clear political protest.

While the woman painted, the man called racism "a leftist lie," according to the video. The woman, after swearing at onlookers, was heard saying, "This is not happening in my town."

I don't approve of acts of civil disobedience that are destructive, per se. In theory, Nazi literature, Black Lives Matter signage, or other racist and hateful material should not be torn down or removed. On the other hand, local officials should not be authorizing certain kinds of favored political speech while suppressing others. The right tactic would have been to ask for permission to paint All Lives Matter. And then file the inevitable lawsuit. If that failed, there's a pretty good case for a next step.

The department added, "Please help us identify those that are responsible for this crime, so they can be held accountable for their actions." 

If only authorities were as determined to hold the perpetrators of Black Lives Matter vandalism accountable as those who protest against it.