California Town Removes BLM Mural After MAGA Request
Redwood City, California city officials have chosen to remove the Black Lives Matter mural it commissioned rather than let it share space with a “MAGA 2020” sign on a major thoroughfare in the town.
According to CBS San Francisco, city resident Dan Pease was permitted to paint the mural as part of a July 4th holiday public art celebration and was even given yellow poster board paint by the city.
“Because we were using the poster board paint that would eventually deteriorate over time, my understanding from them was that the mural would last as long as the paint lasted,” said Pease.
But last week, city officials were contacted by real estate attorney Maria Rutenberg, who asked that since the street had become a public forum, if she could post a sign of her own, bearing the familiar Trump campaign acronym.
“I saw ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign appearing on Broadway Street on the asphalt and I figured that’s gonna be a new public space, open for discussion, and I wanted to get my message out, too.” Rutenburg told the station.
That left the city with the possibility of a legal struggle over BLM and MAGA signs, so rather than face that, the BLM mural was washed away.
Pease said he understood the position the city was left in and was not angry about its decision.
“I have no hard feelings to the city council,” said Pease. “I am disappointed but, at the same time, I am very grateful that they allowed me to put that message on Broadway.”
But Redwood City resident Art Elola said that he was disappointed that the mural had to go because of the political battle that may have ensued.
“They’re afraid, you know? And that’s the whole movement — is we’ve been afraid to do what’s right,” said Elola. “The whole crux of the movement is be bold and let’s do the right thing and here they’re setting an example and it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate other people put the pressure on them, too.”