Brickbat: Public Forum


Officials in Redwood City, California, removed a "Black Lives Matter" mural they had allowed to be painted on a city street. The move came after a supporter of President Donald Trump asked to paint "MAGA 2020" on a street. "I saw 'Black Lives Matter' sign appearing on Broadway Street on the asphalt and I figured that's gonna be a new public space, open for discussion, and I wanted to get my message out, too," said Maria Rutenburg. After Rutenburg made her request, city officials decided the "Black Lives Matter" mural was a traffic hazard

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  2. Haha!! The public space can’t discriminate among political views. So all should be banned.

    1. Exactly.

    2. Graffiti was already banned on public streets. They shouldn’t have made the first exception.

    3. Wrong. Government can place a message on a city street, or another public space, without being required to permit other messages to be expressed in similar manner.

      The issue is whether government is the speaker. Any city council could solve this problem by directing the placement of “Black Lives Matter” on a city street.

      After that, the constitutional rights of conservatives would be to whine about it.

      1. Wow, you are stupid. You don’t even know about the precedents set by your own side.

        For example, let the city put a nativity scene on the side of the street and see how long it gets to stay up.

        1. What if someone steals the Baby Jesus?

      2. I’m not sure where you went to law school, but content-based restrictions on speech are unconstitutional. Of course they can permit the BLM mural. I actually think this one is pretty. But they cannot then say no to another mural based solely on the content. Streets are open to the public, so if they are going to allow painting on the street, they have to allow other messages to be painted there. They can’t very well call the other one graffiti once they have painted a mural themselves. If one is a traffic hazard, the other is a traffic hazard.

        Rather than allow the other mural or refuse to allow it while keeping the BLM mural (which would lead to a constitutional challenge), they decided to scrap them both as traffic hazards. It was either a traffic hazard when they painted it or it wasn’t. The interesting thing is that no one was worried about the safety issue until someone wanted to paint a different political message.

        They have good lawyers. If they could have allowed one and banned the other without running afoul of the constitution, they would have done it.

  3. And they didn’t see this coming? Now do NYC.

    1. NYC isn’t Redwood City – they’ll just ignore any complaints and assert that “Black Lives Matter” isn’t a political statement. You think DeBlasio gives a shit about equal treatment under the law?

      1. I think DeBlasio doesn’t give a shit about anything. Which is why he’s so full of shit.

        1. DeBlasio gives a great big shit about being in charge.

    2. Now do Facebook and Twitter.

  4. The mask drops.

  5. Freak-en AWESOME and hularious!!!

    1. although sad to a degree that the left has been so successful at building these gangster (by race) affiliations/groups (i.e. racists) that will pretend the President is actually working against them. Seems like in modern day times illusions of victimization is a huge seller in the politically entitled. I guess the biggest government downfall was entertaining the notion that ‘power=wealth’ instead of relying on the honesty that ‘value=wealth’.

  6. Once again the left demonstrates its commitment to free and open debate,

    1. I’m not seeing how this decision by risk-averse city bureaucrats counts as a demonstration by “the left”.

      1. Point taken.

  7. What kind of world are we living in? It’s unfortunate that the city can’t allow one group to express itself while not allowing another group to do the same.

    1. To be sure, picking winners and losers is the prime perk of governance at all levels. Take that away, and what fun is there to being in charge? You just get blamed for everything.

  8. Rather remove a statement they agree with than allow a statement they don’t. That’s some weird logic right there.

    1. In their defense, if “MAGA 2020” went through, I was gonna start my “Turn Right Here” social campaign.

      1. Cthulhu 2020: No Lives Matter

        1. Cthulhu 2020: The lesser of three evils.

          1. At this point in our political history, I do believe that would be correct. As far as my eschatological knowledge goes, Cthulhu only promises to devour the living. Which is a forward step in my book!

        2. Cthulhu 2020: Will kill fewer people than Marxism.

          1. *applause*

          2. Cthulhu 2020: It’s His Time

        3. Thanos (I-Titan) – Everything Fixed in a Snap.

        4. That’s awesome.

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  10. officials decided the “Black Lives Matter” mural was a traffic hazard

    I wondered about this from the get-go.

    “Motorist Sues City and BLM After Accident Due to Road Confusion”

    1. I wonder when BLM organization starts seeing the equivalent lawsuits as the ones brought by the SPLC against the KKK.

  11. Trolling has its function in society.

    1. Bridges need to be guarded.

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  13. You have to give the city officials (or the city’s lawyer) credit for realizing that they can’t allow public spaces to be used to post just one side’s message. That puts them ahead of the nuts that want the Ten Commandments in public spaces, and generally don’t even realize that different Christian churches have different versions of these, let alone that such postings open the door for Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Satanists, Odin worshippers, Voodo practitioners, etc., to put up their own monuments.

    1. The Kulture War hits leftists too? Gosh.

      You’re right in that this is essentially the same thing the Religious Right does, just without the religious overtones.

      1. Depends on your definition of religion.

          1. The Holy Models tell us so.

  14. Redwood City motto: “Climate Best by Government Test”

    I shit you not. The motto is not only exceedingly inane, is displays the city residents love and worship of government. As the county seat the government is not some far away fantasy, but a very local enterprise dedicated to daily intrusions into personal lives.

  15. allow it all. blacktop is racist.

    1. They prefer ‘surface of colour’.

  16. city officials decided the “Black Lives Matter” mural was a traffic hazard

    What with all those people who would end up doing burnouts on top of it.

  17. This is an old story, and it warranted a feature length article about what happens when governments pick sides in political debates, and then allow one side to advertise on a public forum.

  18. Aren’t there traffic regulations that designate exactly what can be written on the streets?
    Surely those regulations forbid gigantic murals that might confuse or distract drivers

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