If you’re someone who believes the painting of politically-themed street murals has gotten out of hand over the last couple of months, this next story may interest you.
With the permission of city leaders in Redwood City, CA, resident Dan Pease painted a “Black Lives Matter” mural on Broadway Street on Independence Day as part of the community’s public arts celebration. According to local reports, the city supplied the yellow paint Pease used to create the mural.
A couple of weeks after the mural’s creation, however, a real estate attorney in the area made a mural request of her own to local officials: She wanted to paint “MAGA 2020” nearby. The attorney, Maria Rutenberg, told KRON4 in a statement that it would only be fair to allow such a mural seeing as the city has “open[ed] up asphalts as public forums”:
“Governments cannot and should not get to pick and choose who should be allowed to speak. Now that the cities open up asphalts as public forums, everyone with any political message is free to write their own. I, for one, would like to paint MAGA 2020. At a time like this, it’s especially important that we allow free and open political discussion for all sides, not just BLM.”
Instead of allowing Rutenberg the street space she requested, the city instead decided to quietly wash away the “Black Lives Matter” mural. Their stated reason why was pretty revealing (and completely bogus, as you’ll soon see):
Faced with the possibility of a political and/or legal fight, the city suddenly decided that Dan Pease’s sign was a traffic hazard that might cause accidents and they removed it in the middle of the night. Pease says he doesn’t consider “Black Lives Matter” to be a political statement but he understands the position the city was in.
“I have no hard feelings to the city council,” Pease said. “I am disappointed but, at the same time, I am very grateful that they allowed me to put that message on Broadway.”
“Black Lives Matter is not a political statement. Black Lives Matter is a human rights issue.”
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) July 21, 2020
“Traffic hazard”? Yeah right.
Watch the video report below from KPIX CBS on the city’s abrupt decision to cancel the mural:
Whether she knows it or not, Rutenberg may have come up with a way to get other cities to have their “BLM” murals either removed or repainted at a location that is not directly on the roads and prone to counter-political expressions from people who disagree with the BLM group’s radically extreme left-wing message.
Earlier this month, Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton announced a lawsuit against Washington, D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser after a request from his group to paint an “apolitical” slogan to counter the city’s new “Black Lives Matter” street mural was allegedly given “the run-around” by Mayor Bowser.
Fitton says he’s also filed a request with New York City to paint a mural on their streets as well in response to the ones Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to have painted on several city streets in addition to the one already painted in front of Trump Tower.
The mural wars continue. Stay tuned.