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‘Black Lives Matter’ street art in Moss Point stirs controversy among community

The street art was painted by Mayor Mario King in front of Moss Point City Hall.
The street art was painted by Mayor Mario King in front of Moss Point City Hall.(Facebook/Mayor Mario King)
Updated: Jun. 22, 2020 at 10:03 PM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - A Black Lives Matter painting on the street in front of Moss Point City Hall is sparking heated discussions on social media. The painting appeared over the weekend and was created by Moss Point Mayor Mario King.

As a black man and Mayor of my community, it is vital for me to demonstrate freedom and strength through action. Between...

Posted by Mayor Mario King, Moss Point, MS on Sunday, June 21, 2020

After posting photos of the street art - which features the words “Black Lives Matter” and a raised black first - many people expressed concern and anger, calling it graffiti and saying it does not represent everyone living in the city.

“The painting on the ground is very racial,” said resident Leslie Welford. “It should not say ‘Black Lives Matter or ‘any lives matter’ because it is defacing public property.”

Many others, however, praised the painting and the mayor, saying it was a welcome sight in the River City.

“It’s just another way to just basically have your leadership take action and just point out things that he sees that are going on in his community,” said resident William Batson.

Mayor King said in a Facebook post that the words are “an illustration of BLACK LIVES MATTER with the symbolic peace and strength icon often used by leaders that came before me.”

Now more than ever is the time to speak out against racial injustice, said King.

“Many elected officials, pastors, and community leaders are silent during this time in fear of being reprimanded by losing jobs, campaign funding, and votes for the upcoming election. Leaders must model the behaviors and actions we want to see in others and give comfort to the silent voices. We need more leaders to stand up and be the change we need by enacting inclusive policies, legislation, and actions that will change our country forever for the better.”

‘Black Lives Matter’ street art in Moss Point stirs controversy amongst community
‘Black Lives Matter’ street art in Moss Point stirs controversy amongst community(WLOX)

Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley said he was unsure if the painting on the street rose to the level of a criminal act due to it not damaging the road and the paint being temporary.

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