New York City’s mayor Bill de Blasio took part in painting the words “Black Lives Matter” in front of Trump Tower in Manhattan on Thursday, a week after President Trump tweeted that it would be “a symbol of hate”.
De Blasio was accompanied by his wife, Chirlane McCray and the Rev Al Sharpton as he helped paint the giant street mural on Fifth Avenue directly in front of Trump Tower.
RT reports: City workers closed off the street on Thursday morning and began painting the mural, as De Blasio boasted about “liberating 5th Avenue” and finally giving credit to African-Americans for building New York and the US.
The Democrat mayor originally announced – a day after protesters demanded his resignation, in early June – that he would have a mural on a street in every one of New York City’s five boroughs, with the Manhattan one somewhere near City Hall, in recognition of the “fundamental power of Black Lives Matter.”
That later morphed into making a political statement against President Donald Trump, whom the mayor’s spokeswoman Julia Arredondo declared “a disgrace to the values we cherish” in the city. Rather than decorating a street near the City Hall, the mural would be painted on 5th Avenue, right outside Trump Tower. It was supposed to be finished before the July 4 holiday, but even ‘woke’ public works apparently only move at the speed of the government.
De Blasio has also appointed his wife Chirlane McCray – who is African-American – to lead the city task force on “racial inclusion and equity,” and slashed the New York Police Department budget by $1 billion. A plainclothes crime unit has been disbanded, and hundreds of officers have quit or sought early retirement.
Earlier this year, state law abolishing cash bail went into effect, and De Blasio cited the coronavirus pandemic to empty the jails. To no one’s surprise, crime has skyrocketed. The number of shooting incidents in June rose by 130 percent over the same period in 2019, while gunshot injuries went up 238 percent, according to the NYPD. It was the bloodiest June since 1996, the police said.
New York City also leads the US in the number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities – 222,000 and almost 23,000, respectively – for which De Blasio has blamed anyone but himself.