Around 4:30am Tuesday morning, officials discovered that the Lincoln Memorial had been vandalized with red spray paint. What the hastily scrawled message actually says, however, has become the subject of fierce online debate.
The National Park Service told reporters today that they are working to remove the graffiti, which they believe says “[expletive] law.” Most news outlets, including CNN, Fox News, The Hill, and Newsweek, also reported that the graffiti appears to say “[expletive] law.” The Washington Examiner referred to it as “anti-law graffiti.”
As the news began trending on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, many angry tweeters insisted that it clearly says “fuck law,” and pointed the blame at antifa and liberals.
Unfortunately, “fuck Islam” is a term commonly used by Islamaphobes. “Fuck law” on the other hand, would be an original and awkward phrase—unlike “fuck the police” which is commonly used by people who oppose police and police brutality.
The culprit has not been found, so there’s no way to know for sure what they meant to write. It could have reflected their views or it could have been an attempt to frame a group with opposing views—and thus fuel resentment for that group.
The graffiti was discovered just days after a man drove into a crowd of counter protestors at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one and injuring 19. Racial and political tension is especially strong across the country. And with President Donald Trump continuing to claim that “both sides” are to blame for the violence this weekend, it likely will only get worse.
[Twitter, Fox News]