BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – UPDATE: The racist graffiti is displayed on a fence that runs along i-59 near the 31st street exit has now been removed.
Monday, City of Birmingham had the graffiti that read “#whitegenocide” covered up.
This is the same message that was placed on a billboard in St. Clair County in January. It was put up by the white genocide group, which claims diversity means chasing down the last white person.
ORIGINAL: Racist graffiti is displayed prominently off of I-59 near the 31st street exit in Birmingham. “#WhiteGenocide” is painted in black block letters along a wooden fence that can be seen clearly from the interstate.This graffiti sends a racist message that community members like Bernie Fields want covered.
“I would like to think that we’ve outgrown this and that people can respect people of all races. It just seems like some people still want to hold on to it. I really would like to believe that they are in the minority,” said Fields.
According to Mark Potok with the Southern Poverty Law Center, “white genocide” is a catchphrase used by a white supremacists group that exist online called the White Genocide Project. The group believes that anyone who actively opposes racism in secretly against white people. Potok also say that the group believes women are having fewer white babies which translates to genocide of white people.
“It’s an absurd claim. But nevertheless this is what they say. They think white people are being destroyed in their own home. This whole idea has really caught on the extreme right,” said Potok.
Fields says that signs like this highlight how much further we still have to go as a society in terms of race relations.
“It sends a message to let people know that this type of thing still exist in our society. And it shouldn’t,” Fields said.
Potok says while it is discouraging to see racist signs, in the past two year the SPLC has seen a 20% drop in hate groups throughout the United States.
WIAT is waiting on response from the mayor’s office to learn what will be done about the sign.
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