The Examiner

Black Lives Matter Banner Outside Quaker Meeting House Vandalized Again

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A provided picture of the repaired sign.

A Black Lives Matter banner displayed outside a Quaker meeting house in Chappaqua was vandalized for a second time this week.

In June, members and attendees of the Chappaqua Friends Meeting religious society, located at 420 Quaker Road in Chappaqua, decided to place the banner at the front of the house in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. 

Late last month, the first incident of vandalism was discovered, with the word “Black” painted over.  

“The young meeting member who created the sign acted quickly and, with help, within a few hours, our meeting had removed, repainted and rehung the sign,” an open letter from members and attendees of the meeting house said on Tuesday. “Then, just this week, after we had repainted the sign, it was vandalized again. We have again repainted it and proudly displayed it once more.”

Read the full open letter here:

The open letter also notes the historical context of the incident. 

“The vandalism on our property has particular significance, as our Meeting House has a proud and rich history and stands as a landmark on the African American Heritage Trail in Westchester because of the opposition to slavery expressed by Quakers as early as the 1750s, when the Meeting House was constructed,” the letter writers stated. “By challenging the morality of slavery, Friends served in part as a catalyst to the abolition of slavery in post-Revolutionary War New York. At the same time, we know the vestiges of slavery and oppression continue to the present. We strive to stand as allies for those who have faced deep oppression and discrimination.”

The group also hopes the incident will spark a productive dialogue.

“We seek to connect with those who have faced such oppression and discrimination and reach out, in particular, to Black people, and more broadly, people of color,” they wrote. “We also invite the individual or individuals who marked our sign to explain their reasons. Why did you feel this was necessary? We also invite anyone in our broader Westchester community to respond, either by email or by comment, and hope to continue this discussion in the spirit of compassion, truth, and openness.”

New Castle Police Officer Kraig Davenport said he took a report on the incident for detectives to investigate. 

“They’re looking into it,” he said. 

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