A street artist expressed his resistance towards the Trump’s administration by painting President Donald Trump’s famous “Access Hollywood” quote on a private property with the owner’s permission in November.
But the city of New Orleans had a problem with it and within a week, sent the owner a letter that threatened him to take it down or face jail time or pay a fine for the quote which came directly from the mouth of the president himself.
The mural painted on the side of a commercial building at 3521 S. Liberty St. uses pictograms to depict Trump’s “grab ‘em by the p****” comment.
“I moved on her like a b****. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p***y. You can do anything,” Trump had said in 2005.
Even though the street artist, Cashy D, had censored the president’s lewd language with images of a dog, breasts, a star and a pink “p***y hat,” which has now become the Women’s March protests symbol against the Trump administration, New Orleans city covered it with a sheet with the word “censored” in caps repeated across the surface.
The mural apparently violated the city permit rules. According to the New Orleans city website, property owners must obtain a permit to paint a “public mural” in the city. All mural requests must be sent to the City Council’s mural review board, along with a sketch of the mural and two separate application documents. There is also a $500 fee.
Apparently, a foul-mouthed, alleged sexual predator can be elected as the president and everything remains fine in the world, but American citizens do not have the freedom to denounce the very words that came out of his mouth.
Neal Morris, the property owner who supported political “resistance.” believed the artist’s freedom of expression was being curbed. “This is about an artist’s ability to paint on private property,” he said. “It’s not about taggers doing something without permission, or what the city decides to allow on its own property.”
“There’s nothing about the art that’s intended to satisfy the prurient interest,” Morris said. “What’s offensive is that this is what the president of the United States thinks about actual women.”
Following this incident, the Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against the city of New Orleans, claiming the city’s permit requirements violate residents’ right to freedom of speech.
“This mural is a constitutionally-protected form of free expression ? a right guaranteed to every American by the First Amendment,” Jane Johnson, ACLU of Louisiana’s interim executive director, said in a statement. “Forcing artists and their patrons to get permission from the government, pay exorbitant fees, and navigate an obscure bureaucratic process before they can express themselves on their own property is a totally unnecessary trampling of their First Amendment rights.”
"The city is currently reviewing the lawsuit. After review, the city will determine the appropriate path forward," said Craig Belden, a spokesman for the Mayor's Office.
This makes one believe the city censored the mural just because it resisted against the president without even reviewing the rights of citizens.
So much for freedom of expression in America.
Thumbnail/Banner Image: Reuters, S. Stapleton