I write this letter to express opposition to the Greenville City Council reconsidering the request of artists to paint “Black Lives Do Matter” on First Street.
I understand the sentiment behind the statement. It is a legitimate message of both past injustice and future hope. As an evangelical Christian, my governing document is the Bible, which makes it abundantly clear that any form of racial bias is against God’s law.
What I am against is government at any level (national, state, or local) deciding which political statements it will allow, or not allow, to be posted on public grounds. Greenville City Council is on a slippery slope when they try to be an arbiter of the public display of social and/or political messages. If they were to approve painting a declaration about black lives, should they not then also approve other messages? Hispanic immigrants, Middle Eastern refugees, Japanese citizens at the start of World War II, and American Indians on reservations are a handful of examples of people groups who experienced prejudice; they too have a valid story to post.
The slippery slope for government entities like city councils also includes the fact that every few years voters may elect new members who champion other slogans or statements. Any group could be “in” one year and “out” the next.
I would urge City Council to dismiss further consideration of the aforementioned request and to encourage the artists to seek a private location to paint their mural of hope.