On Monday morning, a man splashed red paint over the Black Lives Matter mural painted on the street in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan on Fifth Avenue, the same mural that Mayor Bill de Blasio helped paint last Thursday as he yelled, “We are saying Black Lives Matter in New York City and Black Lives Matter in the United States of America! Let’s show Donald Trump what he does not understand; let’s paint it right in front of his building for him!”
Have you ever seen a more useless politician than Bill de Blasio?
This is just pathetic. pic.twitter.com/3hiTW2aCn7
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 9, 2020
With shootings soaring in his city and the growing cries for defunding the police affecting the city, de Blasio made sure his list of priorities included making sure that the paint was removed from the mural as soon as possible, sending out a group of workers as he tweeted, “To whoever vandalized our mural on 5thAvenue: nice try. @NYC_DOT has already fixed it. The #BlackLivesMatter movement is more than words, and it can’t be undone.”
To whoever vandalized our mural on 5th Avenue: nice try. @NYC_DOT has already fixed it.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is more than words, and it can’t be undone. pic.twitter.com/nlYTALCWxJ
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 13, 2020
ABC News, which obtained a copy of the video showing the man splashing the paint, reported, “The suspect was described as a white male wearing a black hat and black T-shirt who fled westbound on West 56th Street.”
Last week, appearing on CNN with host Wolf Blitzer, de Blasio took aim at President Trump, who had said that the mural “denigrated” 5thAvenue. De Blasio called Trump’s remarks about the mural “pure racism,” stating that the mural was “liberating” 5thAvenue:
De Blasio: Wolf, it was such an important message. The people of this city believe black lives matter, and we wanted to send that message to our whole city, but to our whole nation. And in fact, here was an opportunity for the President of the United States to show respect for the fact that that’s what we value here. And what did he do? He literally tweeted that writing “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue would “denigrate the luxury of that avenue.” That is pure racism. That is acting like an acknowledgment of the value of black people is somehow belittling, when in fact what we’re trying to do is lift up people who have built this city and built America and haven’t been given their respect. And it can’t just be words, Wolf, it has to be actions.
So we’re taking resources from our police department and putting it into youth programs. We’re acknowledging institutional racism and coming up with specific plans to tear it down. We need to take this transcendent moment and get the most out of it. But the president, rather than having a chance to acknowledge America’s original sin, he literally made it worse by suggesting that honoring black people on Fifth Avenue would somehow make it less valuable or luxurious. I gotta tell you, people are outraged by that, but more importantly, they’re speaking out, and folks today felt jubilant and triumphant. We were not denigrating Fifth Avenue; we were liberating Fifth Avenue by putting those crucial words right there in front of President Trump’s building.
De Blasio’s focus on the street mural amid the wave of violent crime in the city prompted blowback from commentators online:
I’m sure this will be of great comfort to the family mourning their one year-old son and grandson tonight. https://t.co/hNIwVuibjo
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) July 14, 2020
Heya glad you fixed your painting. Any thought on the 4 kids shot over the weekend? https://t.co/faCtUu0yzu
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) July 13, 2020
You make David Dinkins look like @RudyGiuliani https://t.co/ZWrHqlb2eJ
— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) July 13, 2020
Massive surge in violent crime and this dolt is busy promoting murals to an unashamedly anti-police, neo-Marxist group. https://t.co/XJWr88yXub
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) July 14, 2020
Really impressive turnaround. You guys couldn't have gotten to that any faster if it had been a lock on a Jewish neighborhood playground. https://t.co/YsqqJ6N0EK
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) July 13, 2020