President Donald Trump on Wednesday described the Black Lives Matter mural planned for Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on the street in front of Trump Tower as "a symbol of hate."
He took to Twitter to criticize the $1 billion reduction to the NYPD's budget and said the mural is expensive and will denigrate the "luxury avenue.”
He went on to say that the mural antagonizes police and called on the department to not allow the quote "symbol of hate to be affixed to New York's greatest street."
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Mayor de Blasio responded to the president’s tweet about two hours later, writing that the president does not understand that “Black people BUILT 5th Ave and so much of this nation.” De Blasio wrote that the “luxury” Trump mentions came from the labor of Black people, “for which they have never been justly compensated.”
“We are honoring them,” the mayor continued in his tweet. “The fact that you see it as denigrating your street is the definition of racism.”
De Blasio also emphasized that the mural was not a “symbol of hate,” but “a commitment to the truth.”
Black Lives Matter street murals are being painted in each of the five boroughs.
Last week in a one-on-one interview with NY1's Washington reporter Jeevan Vittal, Trump said the Black Lives Matter movement "means a lot" to him, and claimed that he’s done more for African-Americans than anyone in history except for Abraham Lincoln.
A spokesperson for City Hall called the president “a disgrace to the values we cherish in New York City” in a statement last week.
The statement continued, “Any time [Trump] wants to set foot in the place he claims is his hometown, he should be reminded Black Lives Matter.”