Just steps away from the Trump Tower, New Yorkers came together to paint a huge Black Lives Mural on 5th Avenue, completing what the president thinks is a ‘symbol of hate.’
Despite Donald Trump‘s protestations that it’s a “symbol of hate,” a massive Black Lives Matter mural did go up in front of his former residence in New York City. New Yorkers including Mayor Bill de Blasio, wife Chirlane McCray, and Reverend Al Sharpton participated in painting the words in bright yellow on Fifth Avenue on July 9, directly outside the Trump Tower. The mural, once completed, will stretch from 56th to 57th streets on the busy Manhattan block.
As you can see in these photos, the mural is just mere feet away from the front door of the Trump Tower, the massive skyscraper where the president lived and worked for most of his life before moving to the White House. Trump renounced his New York residency in 2019, officially making Florida his home, but the act of painting outside the tower is a message. De Blasio said in a June 19 (Juneteenth) announcement that, “we want the president to hear it because he’s never shown respect for those three words.”
“When he hears ‘Black Lives Matter,’ he presents a horrible, negative reality of something that doesn’t exist and he misses the underlying meaning that we’re saying we have to honor the role of African Americans in our history and in our society, de Blasio said. “We have to make it come alive today so we’re going to make it really clear to the president, it’s going to be right outside his doorstep.” City-sanctioned Black Lives Matter murals have already gone up in all five boroughs of NYC, and there are more to come.
— ABC News (@ABC) July 9, 2020
His message was heard. Trump was outraged when he heard of the plans for the mural, tweeting on July 1, “NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue… 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!”
The murals come amidst powerful protests against police brutality across the five boroughs, which were met with violence by the NYPD. Haunting images and video from the protests show unarmed demonstrators clashing with officers in riot gear. One incident saw the police trap 5000 protesters attempting to cross the Manhattan Bridge for hours. Since the protests began, de Blasio pledged to cut $1 billion from the NYPD’s roughly $6 billion annual budget.