Monuments to Confederate soldiers aren’t the only memorials being target by social justice vandals.

Not only was a statue of St. Joan of Arc in New Orleans tagged with “Tear it Down” graffiti, a sculpture of another Catholic state looks as if it has been the target of vandalism this week.

Several people stopped by a statue of Father Junipero Serra in a park across from Mission San Fernando on Thursday after a photo made the rounds on social media appearing to show the statue had been vandalized.

A picture circulating Facebook showed the statue spray-painted red and the word “murder” written on Serra in white.

While city officials would not confirm the authenticity of the photo or the clean-up, CBS2 reporter Crystal Cruz saw red paint on Serra’s arm and a swastika on the statue of the child standing next to him.

“Everyone’s entitled to their own public opinions and thoughts,” said Cristian Mendoza. “But once it gets to this level I don’t think it’s right.”

This is not the first time a statue of St. Junipero was attacked. Shortly after Pope Francis elevated Father Junipero Serra to sainthood in 2015, vandals hit the Carmel Mission where the remains of the saint are buried, damaging statues and gravesites during their rampage.

The vandals, who police say acted sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning, splashed paint throughout the cemetery and basilica and scrawled “Saint of Genocide” on a headstone.

Carmel police Sgt. Luke Powell said the incident was being investigated as a hate crime because the vandals targeted “specifically the headstones of people of European descent, and not Native American descent.”

However, this week’s red paint and swastika appear to be classic examples of the social justice outrage art craze sweeping nation and not a reference to Serra’s personal history.


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