The Mayor of Union City, California, has denounced the appearance of a “White Lives Matter” banner as “racist”.

The banner, which was hung at a very busy traffic intersection, was later removed by police after they had been “tipped off” by the public.

The banner appeared on the weekend, days before MLK federal holiday.

“An act of vandalism”

The city released a statement following the reports, stating that the appearance of this banner was a “despicable act of vandalism that has occurred on the heels of an insurrection”, before going on to claim that this banner is “evidence of how divisiveness at the national level can appear” in the community of Union City, a town that holds only 75,000 people.

Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci appeared in a video with Human Resources Commission Chairman Kashmir Singh Shahi to personally denounce and condemn those who set up the banner.

The mayor explained how they removed the banner the moment they found out about it.

On the other hand, the Human Resources chair stated that they are disappointed with the actions of individuals who put up the banner and that their actions do not reflect the real state of the community in which they live.

What is the White Lives Matter movement?

The term “White Lives Matter” began to appear in counter-protests against the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which was sparked into life once again in 2020 after the death of George Floyd, who was killed by police.

The term was first coined in 2015 after the Black Lives Matter movement started to gain momentum.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) describes the organization, on their website, as a “racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement”, citing that white supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Renaissance Society frequently use this term in their rhetoric.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre describes the movement as a “neo-Nazi group that is encouraging other white supremacist groups to adopt their slogans and tactics.”

The SPLC also uses the group’s own rhetoric against them to support their claims, citing quotes from various leaders on their website that contain vulgar content.

Who do the stats support?

Both groups, WLM and BLM, claim they were created to promote issues that their race faces on a daily basis, especially being victims of police actions.

The rhetoric of Black Lives Matter states that more black people fall victim to the hands of police brutality in the US than white people do, citing the reason for this as racist, however, the stats do not support this claim.

In data collected between 2017-2020 by Statista, more white people year on year has been shot by police compared to any other race.

In 2017, 457 white people were shot by US police, compared to just 223 black people.

In 2018, 399 white people were shot compared to 209 black people.

In 2019, 370 white people were shot compared to 235 black people.

Then, in 2020, the year that Black Lives Matter regained its momentum to pursue the end of racial injustice; 432 white people were shot by police compared to 226 black people.