An African-American church in the Bayview was targeted by racist vandals on Friday, KTVU reports.
The perpetrators broke into the Saint Paul Tabernacle Baptist Church, where they covered the walls with what KTVU describes as “hate-filled and racist graffiti.” The office of the church's pastor, Rev. Greg Valentine, was also vandalized, large mirrors were smashed, and bleach was poured onto every single pew.
Because nothing of value was stolen, Church Deacon Marvin Osborne told KTVU he believes they were victims of a hate crime.
According to SFPD Officer Albie Esparza, the police are investigating the act as a hate crime.
The San Francisco chapter of SURJ (Standing up for Racial Justice) has started a fundraising page to help the congregation pay for repairs. SURJ is an organization of white people committed to opposing racism. In a statement on the fundraising page, SF SURJ invokes the significance of racist attacks against black churches:
This attack on a Black church in San Francisco's Bayview district is a part of a history of (often White) violence against Black churches since the 18th century. Black churches have always been a place of power in black communities, place of community building and organizing, even before the civil rights movement. Recent attacks on Black churches are a reaction to the empowerment of the Black community and an attempt to terrorize and intimidate Black families in a place they should feel safe.