The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina and artist Dare Coulter have rebuked bigots who graffitied a downtown Raleigh mural celebrating famous civil rights protesters with words and images referencing slavery, the Confederacy and World War II.

Raleigh News & Observer newspaper reported that the defacing took place at some point overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, and in interviews with the paper Coulter pushed back at the anonymous bigots who wrote that "they convinced yall to hate the only people who ever fought the gov't [sic]."

"Whenever you have something that's got political weight to it, there's going to be someone who's upset," Coulter said. "I don't know who was upset, but clearly somebody was upset enough to come out here with Sharpies in the middle of the night and write stuff on it."

The artist and the ACLU have vowed to repaint the mural, which was defaced with a marker-drawn Confederate flag and messages appearing to insinuate that people who assert that the Civil War was about slavery have been duped. One such message claimed "the north convinced the blacks to be lured by factories, where they could be legally regulated into poverty [because] they were broke."

According to Jedidiah Gant, a Raleigh media strategist, the "Know Your Rights" mural (also named #DareToResist after the artist), there were other racist and anti-Semitic messages written over the mural. Gant also noted that the ACLU and Coulter claimed that "racism will not silence" them.