President Trump slammed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his plans to paint “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue, referring to the planed painting as a “symbol of hate.”
In a pair of tweets, Mr. Trump wrote that de Blasio “is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue,” and he predicted that doing so would “further antagonize” the New York Police Department, who, he said “vividly” remembers the “horrible BLM chant, ‘Pigs in A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon.” The NYPD, he suggested, might not “let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street.”
Earlier Wednesday, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” de Blasio discussed New York City’s plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue by Trump Tower, “right outside [Mr. Trump’s] doorstep.”
He explained, “It’s an important message to the whole nation, and obviously we want the president to hear it because he’s never shown respect for those three words.”
De Blasio said of Mr. Trump, “When he hears Black Lives Matter, he presents a horrible, negative reality of something that doesn’t exist, and he misses the underlying meaning that we’re saying we have to honor the role of African-Americans in our history and in our society.”
The mayor’s decision to paint Fifth Avenue mirrors that of Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who in June, had “Black Lives Matter” painted along 16th Street, which leads to the White House.
The chant that Mr. Trump cites in his tweet, “‘Pigs in A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon,'” was heard at a Black Lives Matter protest in Minneapolis back in 2015. A march organizer at the time claimed the chant lasted about 30 seconds during a peaceful protest. Mr. Trump also brought up the BLM street painting and the chant last Thursday, also in a tweet, and declared that “NYC Police are furious.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity played video of the chant in a show on June 5.
On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence defended his refusal to say “black lives matter” amid the surge of momentum for police reforms following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, saying he disagrees with the political agenda being pushed by leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I really believe that all lives matter,” Pence said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” when pressed on why he wouldn’t say the phrase. “And that’s where the heart of the American people lies.”
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