Black Lives Matter protesters and rioters this week didn't even spare of all things Mahatma Gandhi's statue outside the Indian Embassy in Washington D.C. Ironically Gandhi is considered to be the originator of non-violent, peaceful protests given his resistance to the British Empire.
By Wednesday the statue was found to be covered in bright spray paint, including obscenities, and the word "Racist" sprawled across the bottom of the statue.
Seriously? Trashing a Ghandi statue?! pic.twitter.com/OeRY2uEk54— Charlie Spies (@cspiesdc) June 3, 2020
Given that the centrally located statue draws tourists from India who often venerate it as sacred, the incident has threatened to set off a bit of a diplomatic row between Washington and New Delhi, with the American ambassador to India issuing a public apology over the defacing.
US Ambassador to India Ken Juster issued a statement saying he was "appalled" by the "awful violence and vandalism".
Walked by @IndianEmbassyUS staff reporting vandalism of #Gandhi statue to @DCPoliceDept about 20 minutes ago. Under the tarp overing the statue's base you can just make out "racist" spraypainted. Looks lile strategic troublemaking by #BlackLivesMatter opponents to me pic.twitter.com/WFDCaeSyem— 🇪🇹🇺🇸🤙🏾ፍፁም (@fitsum) June 3, 2020
"So sorry to see the desecration of the Gandhi statue in Wash, DC. Please accept our sincere apologies," Juster wrote in a tweet.
"Appalled as well by the horrific death of George Floyd & awful violence & vandalism. We stand against prejudice & discrimination of ant type. We will recover & be better," he added.
So sorry to see the desecration of the Gandhi statue in Wash, DC. Please accept our sincere apologies. Appalled as well by the horrific death of George Floyd & the awful violence & vandalism. We stand against prejudice & discrimination of any type. We will recover & be better.— Ken Juster (@USAmbIndia) June 4, 2020
This was also after the incident took over headlines inside India, though few American media outlets bothered to cover it.
US Park Police, which oversees security of D.C. monuments, has said it is investigating. This also as even war memorials on the Capitol suffered vandalism this week.
Mahatma Gandhi’s statue outside the Indian Embassy in Washington DC desecrated by unruly elements of #BlackLivesMatter protesters. Sources tell ANI that United States Park Police have launched an investigation, more details awaited. pic.twitter.com/jxRpIhqd2W— ANI (@ANI) June 4, 2020
Far left activists have in the past pointed to questionable statements Gandhi made in the early 20th century, calling some segments of the population of South Africa "toublesome" and "very dirty... like animals."