Vandals have reportedly damaged a New York gallery honoring Black Wall Street multiple times within the last week. Black Wall Street Gallery Owner Ricco Wright said the most recent attack involved someone smearing white paint across the venue's logo. Wright said the marking was discovered the following day by a security guard.
"We are neither shocked nor surprised that merely three days after opening on 26 Mercer Street, in celebration of our ancestors, that we would find a literal whitewashing of Black Wall Street on our front window," Wright said.
These incidents occur as the nation commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. During the tragedy, a group of angry, white mobsters burned down hundreds of homes and destroyed several businesses in the Greenwood District, also known as Black Wall Street. Despite the timing and nature of these incidents, Wright said the New York Police Department told him these do not acts are not classified as hate crimes.
"So now I stand before you today to not only denounce the hate crime, but also to say to the NYPD, 'Let's hurry and deem this what it is and let's understand the variance of hate that exists around us, and to understand it doesn't take a noose hanging on a door to realize something's hate,'" Wright added.
While the incidents will not be classified as hate crimes, members of the New York Police Department are investigating the matter.
"I know hate when I see it," New York Police Department Community Affairs Bureau Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said.
"And what happened here was all of that."
The New York Police Department has not yet publicly identified any potential suspects tied to these incidents.
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