It’s hard to say with confidence how many cities have permitted anti-police protesters to paint the slogan “Black Lives Matter” on a public street in letters large enough nearly to be seen from space. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is so “down with” the slogan that he has asked protesters to paint one on a street in each of the city’s five boroughs.
It appears to have been taken on faith from the outset that everyone else was “down with it” as well. Apparently that presumption was wrong. As the Washington Examiner reports, “[T]wo white people were caught on video Saturday defacing a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California.”
After the completion of the mural [sic] … a woman started painting over it while a man recorded her and argued with onlookers.
In a video that has gone viral, the woman can be seen covering over the yellow letters using a roller dipped in black paint. The man, who is clad in pro-Trump “Make America Great Again” gear, can be heard saying:
No one wants Black Lives Matter here. We’re sick of this narrative. The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism. It’s a lie. It’s a lie.
Because a permit was obtained from the city in advance of the original painting, police are treating the couple’s efforts as an act of vandalism. It is nevertheless clear where Police Chief Manjit Sappal’s sentiments lie. In a statement he said:
The community spent a considerable amount of time putting the mural [sic] together only to have it painted over in a hateful and senseless manner. The city of Martinez values tolerance, and the damage to the mural was divisive and hurtful.
But the actions of BLM and its followers in between paint jobs have been pretty divisive and hurtful in their own right. Nor can the destruction of statues, looting, and torching of whole communities be excused as anything other than hateful and senseless.
As for the behavior of this couple, I noted following the president’s remarks at Mt. Rushmore to commemorate the Fourth of July that “the battle lines have been drawn.” Over the weekend a statue of black abolitionist Frederick Douglass was defaced and toppled in Rochester, N.Y. Police still aren’t sure who is responsible for the destruction, but don’t be surprised if it too turns out to be another act of defiance by those fed up with the demonstrations, now in their fifth week.