An online petition states that the removal of a BLM mural in a California city is “white supremacy” in action. They say officials destroyed it after a local woman applied for a permit to paint a pro-Trump message.
The 17-foot (5m) mural in downtown Redwood City was scrubbed in order to avoid “driver confusion and traffic accidents,” city spokesperson Jennifer Yamaguma told local media, adding that the authorities will no longer permit “art” installations to appear on the streets.
The mural was painted earlier this month by a local resident named Dan Pease. Local media reported that the city had not only authorized Pease’s project but supplied him with yellow poster board paint. The man told KPIX-TV that he expected the mural to last “as long as the paint lasted.”
City officials appear to have suddenly changed their attitude after another person, Maria Rutenburg, applied for a permit to paint a ‘MAGA 2020’ mural. “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,” she told local media.
Rutenburg’s request was ultimately denied, and the city did not link her application to the swift removal of the BLM mural. However, many on social media are now blaming the woman and her idea for a pro-Trump mural for the removal.
A petition was launched online, which alleges that the city destroyed the sign because of “a single complaint by a white woman.” The petition went on to state that “such negation of the community’s voice is itself an example of white supremacy – privileging one white voice over the community’s.”
Numerous BLM murals were painted on the streets of US cities in the wake of massive protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May.
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