Confederate monuments in St. Louis defaced

Charleston church shooting heightens controversy over confederate flag

FILE - In this June 24, 2015, file photo, St. Louis Parks workers clean a Confederate memorial in St. Louis after it was spray painted with the words, "Black lives matter." Confederate monuments in a half-dozen places this week have been defaced _ a telling sign of the racial tension that permeates post-Ferguson America. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT; EDWARDSVILLE INTELLIGENCER OUT; THE ALTON TELEGRAPH OUT

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Vandals are targeting memorials dedicated to the Confederacy, leaving graffiti on the monuments in parks and outside government buildings.

This week, the slogan “Black lives matter” was painted on memorials in a half-dozen states. The graffiti reflects the racial tension that permeates post-Ferguson America, more than a week after a white gunman shot and killed nine black congregants at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

Michael Allen is a lecturer in American culture studies at Washington University in St. Louis. He compared the vandalism to the toppling of statues in Russia at the end of the Soviet Union.

Resentment of Confederate symbols boiled over after last week’s massacre at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. One of the defaced monuments was in St. Louis’ Forest Park, 10 miles from Ferguson.

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