At around 9 a.m., a Union City employee found a homemade banner at the busy intersection of Dyer and Smith Streets, took it down and called police.
The banner, which was hanging across the street from Union Landing shopping center, read: "White Lives Matter."
The sign, found in a city where the population of white people is 25%, sparked outrage.
Jalonnie Price, a resident of the city, said: "That’s not cool. That’s not really appreciated. I don’t understand it."
"I see it’s another person’s opinion, you know, that’s all. That’s their opinion and a lot of things are being said to stir people up," Mary Samarron said.
The mayor became aware of the banner during a virtual retreat with the Human Relations Commission, where she raised concern about national divisions becoming local.
She stated that she was angered by the banner because it did not reflect the community’s inclusiveness.
Mayor Carol Dutra-Vernaci stated: "I thought about this incident in relation to what’s going on in the country recently, the insurrection at our national capital. This to me was an extension of that."
The phrase "White Lives Matter" came about as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement, the Anti-Defamation League stated, and has since been adopted by white supremacists groups.
According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, the phrase also refers to a neo-nazi hate group that was founded in 2015.
Sources: Fox 2 KTVU