On Wednesday, President Donald Trump responded via Twitter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to paint the words “Black Lives Matter” on the pavement on 5th Avenue in front of Trump Tower, the New York Daily News reported. The plan was initially announced a week ago.
Speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, the mayor said that he hoped painting the message on the street right in front of a property bearing Trump’s name would help the president get the message.
“[Trump] will get a message that he still doesn’t understand. Maybe seeing it outside his doorstep will help him get the point,” de Blasio said.
He also noted the work will be completed within a matter of days.
As NPR News reported, de Blasio also announced on the program that the city is shifting $1 billion in funding from the city’s police department into other areas. Specifically, the overall size of the NYPD will be reduced, there will be less overtime, and many of the functions the police department performs will be shifted to civilians “who can do them better,” he said, noting that some of that money will go to programs aimed at youth.
On Twitter, Trump responded to the plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the street in front of one of his most famous properties as a “symbol of hate” and said that the street painting would “denigrate” the “luxury avenue.”
He also noted the juxtaposition of the city’s plan to reduce funding from the police force and the plan to paint the message on the street, which he said would be “expensive.”
He suggested the NYPD should prevent the painting of the message.
“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,” he wrote.
In response, de Blasio noted that the “luxury” of 5th Avenue was built on the backs of Black labor and that by painting the message on the street, the city is honoring those Black people.
“The fact that you see it as denigrating your street is the definition of racism,” de Blasio tweeted.
New York City joins Washington, D.C. in painting the words “Black Lives Matter” on the street in an effort to get Trump’s attention. As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, in early June, Washington Mayor Muriel Brown ordered the phrase painted on 16th Street, a major thoroughfare that leads to the White House.