Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser just reclaimed her time in the most epic way possible after unveiling and renaming a street near the White House, “Black Lives Matter Plaza” on Friday.
The newly minted plaza located on 16th Street, leads directly into the White House. On Monday, Trump militarized the police and used excessive force to gas protesters at Lafayette Park near St. John’s Church, located at the end of the street, so that he could secure a desperate, photo opportunity while stupidly holding a bible upside down and smiling.
Trump’s action, rooted in his consistent and dire ability to exist as the worst “leader” our country has ever seen remains undefeated. In response to the the frustration and fear surrounding Trump’s message, Muriel took action.
She commissioned muralists through the public works department to paint a 50-feet mural that reads, “Black Lives Matter” in yellow, USA Today reports.
In an Instagram post that showed the full scope of the mural shared she used the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to convey her message.
“..I’m happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we’re going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demand didn’t force them to do it.” Dr Martin Luther King Jr #BlackLivesMatter”, she wrote.
“There was a dispute this week about whose street this week about whose street this is,” Mayor Bowser’s chief of staff, John Falcicchio, wrote on Twitter. “Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC’s street and to honor demonstrators who peacefully protested on Monday evening.”
On Friday Bowser also wrote a letter urging Trump to withdraw all military and federal law enforcement from the city in light of the fact that most demonstrations have been peaceful. Her letter also ended Trump’s state of emergency in Washington D.C.
The back and forth between Bowser and Trump intensify over the last few days as demonstrations continued to swell in the streets. Trump, who frequently evokes racist undertones on social media when addressing Black politicians, did so again when he condemned Bowser for not sicking the local police on protesters.
However, no politician deserves to go without critique, and as mayor of what was once known as “Chocolate City,” Bowser’s action seemed tone-deaf and missed the mark, particular for groups who suffered under systemic oppression.
Black Lives Matter DC tweeted in condemnation of the act, saying that it only appeases “…white liberals ignoring our demands. Black Lives matter means defund the police.”
Bowser’s record has leaned heavily in law enforcement’s favor, highlighted in a tweet by political strategist Alexis Goldstein and civil rights attorney and advocate Preston Mitchum.
We can only hope that this is the beginning of the bridge to fully understand her undeserved citizens and to create public policy that will truly give Black people in Washington D.C. the resources they need to get free.