New York City workers, community leaders and volunteers joined together Thursday morning to paint the phrase “Black Lives Matter” along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, which runs in front of US President Donald Trump’s Trump Tower.
Following in the footsteps of Washington, DC, San Francisco, Hollywood, Chicago and several other cities across the nation, New York City residents painted a “Black Lives Matter” mural in massive letters across Fifth Avenue. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio commissioned the mural last month.
According to the New York City Department of Transportation, the mayor, first lady Chirlane McCray, Reverend Al Sharpton, City Council member Helen Rosenthal, Borough President of Brooklyn Eric Adams, the New York City Sanitation Department and other community leaders were present to assist with the painting.
The New York Post captured a number of hecklers with a lot to say about the mural – particularly concerning de Blasio.
“My sisters that were murdered were all white, but you’re not saying her name because there’s an agenda,” argued one woman wearing a “Make America Great Again” mask.
One pair of upset individuals were overheard chanting “douchebag de Blasio” when the mayor arrived at the site of the mural.
“We are not denigrating anything,” the mayor announced to members of the press Thursday morning. “We are liberating Fifth Avenue.”
According to the Post, de Blasio left the site about 20 minutes after declaring,“We are making a statement today of what we value in New York City.”
Many have viewed de Blasio’s backing of the mural as nothing more than a political ploy to upset Trump, who has referred to the “Black Lives Matter” mural as a “symbol of hate.”
….horrible BLM chant, “Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon”. Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 1, 2020
It does not appear that the mural is a nod to the Black Lives Matter organization – which has local chapters across the country – but rather a showing of support to the general movement that has persisted since the May 25 killing of Minneapolis, Minnesota, resident George Floyd.
Similar murals have been vandalized, such as the “Black Lives Matter” street painting in Oak Park, Illinois, which was painted over to read “All Lives Matter.”
“If they cannot understand that all lives don’t matter until Black lives matter, they did this out of hatred,” activist and mural organizer Cortlyn Kelly told ABC7 about the Oak Park incident.