Despite the president’s enraged tweets about the planned Black Lives Matter mural outside the Trump Tower, artwork honoring the movement persists throughout all five boroughs of NYC.
Well that backfired. After Donald Trump called a Black Lives Matter mural planned for outside the Trump Tower a “symbol of hate,” New York City pressed forward with artwork across all five boroughs. The most recent was massive letters on the street outside the Federal Courthouse in lower Manhattan, spelling out the words Black Lives Matter. This is exactly what’s intended for outside Trump’s former home.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the citywide project on June 19, or Juneteenth, several weeks after protests began across the country following the death of George Floyd. When all is done, there will be Black Lives Matter murals in six locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Some have been up for days already, stretching entire city blocks. And they’re breathtaking.
The mayor also announced that some streets will be renamed to reflect the Black Lives Matter movement. “I ask all New Yorkers to recognize the power of this moment — that the city of New York is saying loudly, clearly, consistently black lives matter and we will back up that belief with action after action after action,” de Blasio said at a press conference.
It’s the Trump Tower mural that’s getting the most attention, though. The painting will stretch from 56th to 57th streets across Fifth Avenue, right in front of the president’s former residence, where he lived and worked for most of his life. The placement is fully intentional, de Blasio said. “It’s an important message to the whole nation, and obviously 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. 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.”
The news enraged Trump, of course, who lashed out in a series of tweets. “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 Trump Tower mural is expected to be painted on the street sometime in the week of July 5.