LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Hate reared its head in Lansing and a city official said he won’t stand for it.
People walking along Lansing’s river trail made this discovery this weekend: hateful messages targeting the gay and trans communities painted under an overpass.
The remarks were spray-painted over a popular mural that was painted in just 2021. They called for the murder of transgender kids and gay people.
But the comments didn’t last long. Other people painted over them with messages of support.
A Lansing Councilmember says this should never have happened in the first place.
“There is no reason in 2023 that we need to treat someone with vile and disrespectful messages,” said Ryan Kost, first ward city council member.
Kost said he first heard about these remarks on Saturday in a Facebook post gaining traction online. The graffiti called for violence and to celebrate gay shame.
“I’m disgusted that we even have to stand here and have this conversation that this happened. You’re entitled to have whatever opinion you want, I’m not here to tell you what to do but you don’t have the right to put your hate on this wall,” said Kost.
Where the hateful graffiti was painted once stood a mural that took days to complete.
“There was actually an entire wall of artwork that was four or five sections that was done by an artist in 2021 by an artist from Flint,” said Kost.
Kost says he has been in contact with the city to have the artist return to Lansing and fix the mural. Kost has some ideas to prevent this from happening again
“We need lights down here to protect all of this artwork. We have so much artwork done here that we need to protect.”
Kost, being a gay man himself, says he received this same hate when he was younger.
His biggest concern is that if someone is being bullied for being gay, this could push them to commit suicide.
But he has a message for them: hate does not belong in Lansing.
“There is help if you feel like you can’t take it anymore and things do get better and not everyone holds vile views that were written on here,” said Kost.
If you or anyone has any information on who painted these remarks please call LPD at this number: 517-483-4600