Mere days after the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, unknown individuals in Fort Wayne, Indiana have vandalized the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Bridge.
The vandals defaced benches on the bridge with messages decrying miscegenation, The Journal Gazette reported.
"White women do not need to mix," appeared on one bench. "Keep the white race pure," on another. Yet another bench called for people to remember Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist who argued vehemently against interracial marriage and was jailed and executed for killing people who practiced it.
Most famously, on March 6, 1978 Franklin ambushed and shot Hustler publisher Larry Flynt, paralyzing him from the waist down. In his confession, Franklin admitted that he had targeted Flynt because his magazine showed graphic depictions of interracial intercourse.
In May of 1980, Franklin shot Urban League President Vernon Jordan, Jr. after observing him in the company of a white woman.
After his conviction for the murder of Gerald Gordon in 1977, Franklin admitted that his motivation for all 22 of the murders he committed between 1977 and 1980 was to start a race war.
A Fort Wayne spokesman, Frank Suarez, said it was "upsetting" to find people defacing this particular bridge in this manner, and urged anyone who saw the vandals in action to contact the police immediately.