REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Many communities across the country are displaying “Black Lives Matter” street murals. A Northern California city was among them until last week when the municipality removed their street art once a conservative sought equality.
Redwood City in San Francisco’s Bay Area quietly scrubbed away its Black Lives Matter mural from a city street after a resident asked to paint a similar “MAGA 2020” on the same road, according to a local news report.
Redwood City resident Dan Pease received permission from city officials to paint “Black Lives Matter” on Broadway Street as part of a Fourth of July public art celebration, according to KPIX 5. City officials even supplied him with the yellow poster paint to make the mural.
“Because we were using the poster board paint that would eventually deteriorate over time, my understanding from them was that the mural would last as long as the paint lasted,” Pease explained.
However, the “art celebration” took a turn when local real estate attorney Maria Rutenberg, who reasoned that the street was now a public forum, asked the city if she could paint her own “MAGA 2020” sign on the same street.
“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,” Rutenburg said.
Rather than responding to the request, the city removed the Black Lives Matter mural, according to the news agency.
According to Redwood City, the “road art” was now a traffic hazard, which could lead to collisions.
Pease said he doesn’t believe “Black Lives Matter” to be a political statement but understands the position the city was in, according to KPIX 5.
“I have no hard feelings to the city council,” Pease said. “I am disappointed but, at the same time, I am very grateful that they allowed me to put that message on Broadway.”