Letter to the editor: Disappearing Black Lives Matter signs


I woke up this morning and found that the Black Lives Matter sign in front of my house had been torn out of the ground and stolen during the night. This is the third time this has happened, and it makes me angrier each time.

Although my sign has been in place since July of 2020, all three of these acts of vandalism have occurred in the past few months.

I had been noticing that I was seeing fewer Black Lives Matter signs in the community and even worried that perhaps the number of people who understand and strongly support the simple fact stated by these signs was in decline.

What seems much more likely is that the slow attrition in Black Lives Matter signs in our town is due to an increase in either the number or anger — or perhaps both — of people who think Black lives do not matter. These cowards are driving around at night and stealing signs from people’s yards. They think they are making a political statement.

I think all of us can sense the rising level of anger, violence and ignorance that is being nurtured nationally, and locally, by right-wing media outlets and “conservative” politicians. This growing craziness can only be kept from destroying our society — a society that I joined the Marine Corps almost 60 years ago to defend — if each of us continues to insist on and vote for the decent values that made America a good place to live that was slowly getting better instead of worse.

I am going out to put up a Black Lives Matter sign for the fourth time.

Bob Hinck

  1. You’re continuing the fight you joined the Marine Corps for by repeatedly putting up the BLM signs. This is the way we keep our society and hold back those who espouse supremacy, hatred, violence, etc. Ways that are truly unAmerican. We fight back. Replacing signs is one way we do that.
    Thank you, Bob, for continuing the defense!

  2. I’m thinking people disagree with what BLM really means. Since 2020 many of the leaders of BLM have stepped down. $60K of their donations went missing. Their 2020 chants were Build barricades. Burn precincts. Reappropriate what they’ve stolen from you for thousands of generations! The history of the leader was provided and the report was not glowing. I think most people today are intermixed with several cultures. My own family has African Americans, Asian Americans, and Islander American and white Americans. The key word is Americans. None of us look at our colors..we are a family. Families Matter, not a specific color. Am I for any theft??? No..but fads just fade away..some for the better.

    1. Thank you for bringing up the issue of signs being stolen from private properties in Edmonds. I’ve had two Pray to End Abortion signs stolen off my church’s property. These are for our local 40 Days for Life vigils. 40daysforlife.com.

      Do some signs matter more than others?

  3. Thanks for your service and for pointing out the importance of the continuing work against racism. It’s a long uphill slog and sometimes we roll backwards before getting momentum to go on again. Good on you for putting up another sign! And I wonder what else we might we do? I read an eye opening book, “Nice Racism” by Robin DeAngelo, and It’s available at the library.

    Stealing a sign is against the law, and people are learning not to respect the rule of law. I see good role models and also plenty of bad ones in leadership and in the community. Voting for good people and good role models in the primary elections is a step, so check information sources carefully. We CAN get on a better track if we work together.

  4. Thank you Bob Hinck for your excellent comments about ongoing sabotage of your Black Lives Matter sign. I agree that the rising levels of anger and lawlessness appear to be fostered by right-wing media. Fox “News” makes big bucks by stirring up hatred among deep pools of racism simmering since the Civil War. Fox makes it safe for opportunist politicians to wind up the crazies. This hate-bating stifles democracy and leads us down the path to dictatorship. Unless you have lived under a dictatorship it’s hard to understand. One day you may feel good and patriotic that the dictator is taking care of the country’s hard problems; the next day you discover you are now one of the hard problems.

  5. My husband is Bob Hinck and OUR Black Lives Matter Sign is gone again this morning…Someone is harassing us and stealing. The police have been informed.

  6. Mr. Hinck, sorry to hear about the loss of your sign. You and I both served our country to protect the fundamental right of freedom of speech. I too have had dozens of my state senate signs go missing recently. Several were found in one person’s yard along with a myriad of political and other types of signs. Someone did file a police report about it and I heard it was supposedly some kind of “prank”. Perhaps, the loss of your sign could be attributed to this type action rather than feelings of anger and violence from your fellow community members. Signs are expensive and private property. Steeling of signs is unlawful and anyone seeing signs being pulled up should report it to the police. I hope you are able to find your sign.

  7. Stealing someone’s yard sign is really a dumb thing to do. I hope anyone doing this gets caught. Especially the act of stealing a yard sign which reaffirms the signs owner’s belief of victimhood.

  8. Thank you, Mr. Hinck, for your service, persistence and leadership on the issues of justice and equality.

  9. Thank you Bob, for continuing in your service to our country.

    “Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.” – Coretta Scott King

    May your spirited persistence inspire us all to keep up the work it takes to earn it!

  10. I understand that this can be very disheartening and angering – as would any theft from your property – but for what it is worth and what Janelle has mentioned, I have had at least one sign stolen as well from candidates which are from the side of the aisle that you are referencing above as being the likely perpetrators in your mind of your sign stealing. If that is any consolation and helps calm your feelings towards a group of folks you probably live amongst that might not have anything to do with this issue. Very sorry again about your property being stolen – completely unacceptable.

  11. What does your disappearing signs have to do with Fox News? Unfortunately, as people are prone to do, you are pointing fingers at the divisiveness in our country but don’t take any responsibility for the same behavior.

  12. I’m currently reading a book I’d highly recommend to everyone commenting here. It is titled American Schism by Seth David Radwell. The book goes clear back to before the American and French Revolutions and details how the various ideas about what America is and isn’t developed over time and how and what our Founders actually thought as individuals at the time of the beginning documents; Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence and finally the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. All of our current conflicts, local and national, stem from conflicts of ideology and modes of thinking that started out even before the founding of our country. As it turns out, we still seem to be fighting over the concepts of strong vs. weak federal government, broad based democracy vs. narrow rule by some sort of elite class, and the nature of what race is and how the races should relate to each other. What does all this have to do with stealing political signs? Nothing; except everything in our world actually. Education is power and freedom. Ignorance is the tool of all those who seek to control or manipulate you for personal gain of some sort.

  13. First let me say that destroying or removing anyone’s freedom of speech is not acceptable. Everyone has a right to their opinion and your signs should not be removed.
    That being said, it is very possible there is conflict between the statement “black lives matter” and the organization “Black Lives Matter.” I believe most people agree black lives matter, but the sign supports an organization that is demonstrably corrupt and have shown their contempt and hatred for law enforcement.
    It was the “largely peaceful” BML protesters who attempted to burn down a federal courthouse in Portland and a police precinct on Capitol Hill with the police trapped inside. It was also the “largely peaceful” BLM protests that caused upwards of $3 billion in damage nationally two summers ago.

  14. Bob, thank you again for your service and thank you again for standing up for Black Lives Matter.
    I’m sorry that people who disagree continue to harass you and your wife. This is a much bigger issue than campaign signs being stolen.
    This is about human rights!
    I appreciate your insights in our city!

  15. Stealing BLM signs or political signs in general is nothing more or less than an ignorant act by someone who for some reason feels powerless and thinks this silly immature act somehow makes them powerful and heard. The same goes for graffiti, writing on bathroom walls and all that same type of nonsense that proves or accomplishes absolutely nothing. When I supported Obama for President, I taped my sign on the inside front window because I figured some irrational malcontent would either steal it or deface it. Looking back, I’m surprised my house didn’t get burnt down.

    1. We are starting to repeat ourselves in these comments so closing this thread.

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