Racist graffiti scrawled across the mural of prominent Philadelphia civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore has upset community members, and police are looking for the culprits.
On Saturday, City Council President Darrell Clarke told 6ABC that he started receiving photos and calls from frantic neighbors who reported that the mural was defaced with the words “F—k N—-s” spray painted across it.
“He was a very significant figure, not only in the African-American lives but in the city of Philadelphia, and he was known nationally with his civil rights leadership,” said Clarke.
The illustration is on a wall located on the corner of the 1400 block of North Bouvier St. and West Jefferson St. in North Philadelphia.
Moore, born in 1915, was a prominent civil rights figure who called Philadelphia his home. The activist and attorney marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and as a lawyer worked tirelessly for civil rights and the integration of Girard College in the city.
Moore was also a World War II veteran who served in the Marines. He went to law school at Temple University and later led the local NAACP chapter as president. He also served on the Philadelphia City Council.
According to the Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism, recent years have seen a steady rise in the spread of white supremacist propaganda around Pennsylvania, and nationwide incidents of spreading such propaganda doubled in 2019 from the previous year.
“ADL’s Center on Extremism tracked an ever-growing number of white supremacist propaganda efforts in 2019, including the distribution of racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBTQ fliers, stickers, banners and posters. The 2019 data shows an increase of incidents both on and off campus, with a total of 2,713 cases reported (averaging more than seven incidents per day), compared to 1,214 in 2018 – a doubling in activity year over year. This is the highest number of propaganda incidents ADL has ever recorded,” the report states.
Campuses refer to college campuses, which have become breeding grounds for white supremacist recruitment.
The defacing of the Moore mural has rocked the North Philly community.
“We need to send a signal, we can’t have this in the City of Philadelphia. We’ve made a lot of progress but as you can see we still have a ways to go,” Clarke told the TV station.
The city’s mural arts program was notified and will work to freshen up the mural by covering up the graffiti.
Police are asking for anyone with information about the vandals to contact then at 215-686-3093/3094 or 215-686-TIPS (8477). You can also email the police at [email protected].