Redwood City washes street of BLM mural after MAGA request
Redwood City, California had second thoughts about allowing street art on city streets after a Donald Trump supporter asked for equal billing for pro-Trump messages side-by-side with Black Lives Matters.
The city previously allowed artists to paint a temporary “Black Lives Matter” mural on a city street.
“Redwood City resident Dan Pease organized the efforts to install the temporary mural as part of a Fourth of July public art celebration after getting approval from the city,” says the UK’s Guardian, “which also supplied the yellow poster board paint that would gradually wash away, according to KPIX, a local CBS affiliate.”
But when Trump supporter, Maria Rutenburg, said she thought a MAGA message would also be great for the new public art space, city officials balked.
“I saw a ‘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 KPIX.
Instead, the city determined that it would be best if the BLM art was washed off the street.
“No further art installation will be authorized on the city’s streets,” city spokeswoman Jennifer Yamaguma wrote in an email, according to the LA Times.
Since then, Rutenburg’s private information has been released in online forums.
“I get like about 500 calls a day right now,” she said. “Some people thank me for doing it. Some people tell me, ‘I know where you live, and I’m going to come for you.’”
But she emphasizes that she didn’t mean any disrespect for the BLM message, she sincerely just wanted her own message to be included.
“I’d like to make it clear now: this is not the outcome I wanted, nor one that I requested,” she wrote on Facebook according to the Guardian.
“I made my request because I saw that the courthouse square was being used as a public forum, and, as a Redwood City resident, wanted to participate,” she added.
But the organizer of the BLM street art was outraged by Rutenburg’s request.
“Black Lives Matter is not a political statement,” he told KRON-TV. “Black Lives Matter is a human rights issue. Black Lives Matter is a call; it’s a message, it’s a symbol.
“For Pease, the most disheartening part is not that the city removed the art piece, but that someone had ‘the audacity to come out with … a comparable counterpunch to Black Lives Matter.’”
The city claims the BLM art was removed because it represented a safety threat to drivers who might be distracted by the art.
PHOTO: Emily Steinberger/Daily Journal
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