The eye-catching, 10-foot mural of President Obama in Midtown that was recently restored after being vandalized in October has fallen victim to cowardly vandals yet again.
MURAL DEFACED AGAIN
This past Monday, local Midtown residents and passers-by drove by the busy intersection of the 3700 block of Travis and West Alabama, only to discover that the recently restored mural of President Obama had once again been defaced.
The criminal attack on the 10-foot mural, depicting a confident and cool president Obama, was reported to local authorities on Monday morning. The building that displays the mural is shared with the Breakfast Klub, a popular Houston restaurant which uses part of the building for storage.
Marcus Davis, owner of the Breakfast Klub, said that when he received the news that the Obama mural had been defaced again he went into a moment of sobriety, so as to avoid an emotional response.
“All I know is while there may be some political elements to this, I believe the overwhelming reason that these people chose to do this again, is because President Obama is a Black man in the White House,” said Davis. “If other presidents had received the same type of response that this president has, then I would say these attacks are only political.”
To Davis, he believes that the mural is a symbol of hope and a symbol of President Obama’s overall presidency, but that many people can’t accept the fact that Obama is their president.
“I view the mural as the hope of how America could be,” said Davis. “The way that people keep attacking this mural, defacing it and disrespecting Obama, is pretty much symbolic of the way people attack President Obama in real life. He takes it all in stride and bounces back every time, knowing that every morning he has to wake up and face countless obstacles and challenges in this nation and the world.”
As in the original attack, paint was used to deface the original mural. In this recent incident, black and red paint were used and splattered against the wall where the mural sits.
BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY
Davis spent most of the day Monday patrolling the area near the mural and began drawing quite a bit of attention, after visibly displaying an accessory that has been the subject of many debates as of late, especially from the Obama administration.
While talking with members of the media, Davis could be seen sporting an assault rifle on his back. He wanted to send a message to the criminals who vandalized the mural that no other acts would be tolerated under his watch.
Davis has a permit to carry a gun and says that by carrying the assault rifle it sends a message to everyone that people can disagree with each other and not have to resort to criminal acts that do more harm than good.
“I believe in my 2nd Amendment rights, but I didn’t go outside and deface our mural because I disagree with his decision to ban assault rifles,” said Davis. “We plan to put the mural back up and I will defend it with the very assault rifle that Obama is trying to ban.”
Davis doesn’t believe that assault rifles should be banned and believes that his disagreement with Obama on this issue is an example of how you can agree to disagree with any elected official you support.
“I am a supporter of President Obama and I voted for him twice, but that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with him on everything he says and does,” said Davis.
Davis said he supports Obama because he is the president of the United States of America and that he won’t “allow these cowards to even think they are winning.”
HISTORY OF THE MURAL
The original mural was painted in 2008 as a means to show support for then-candidate Obama and his historic presidential campaign.
The original version of the Obama mural, with the word ‘Hope,’ was redesigned and repainted in October after it was defaced by vandals, who were caught on tape wearing masks. That original version of the mural had also been vandalized twice before the defacing incident.
Both mural projects were completed without pay by local artists such as Reginald C. Adams, founder of the Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston or MOCAH, which is a local non-profit with a mission to use public art and creativity as tools for social awareness, educational enrichment and community development.
After the attack in October, Adams rallied people together to create a newer version of the mural during the 2012 presidential debates.
“The mural is an excellent opportunity to talk to one another about tolerance and respect,” said Adams. “When I got the text about 7 am on Monday letting me know what happened, all I could say to myself was here we go again.”
Adams says that each mural that was produced cost them roughly $15K to complete, when you add up all the man hours, materials and additional costs.
“We haven’t received a dime to do these murals,” said Adams. “These murals, especially of this size and magnitude, are not cheap or easy to produce. We did them out of the sheer love for what we do and because of the deep and profound respect we have for President Obama.”
Adams believes that there is no better time to do something than now and vows to not be deterred by the ignorance of the vandals.
“President Obama wakes up every morning and faces challenges that I can’t even begin to imagine,” said Adams. “These murals are symbols of Obama’s perseverance and hope that if there is anything in this world that you believe in, you can never give up or give in to any temporary obstacles.”
Adams says he respects what President Obama has done for the entire country and admires how Obama hasn’t allowed the constant disrespect and negative actions of other people to rattle him.
“Hey, I don’t support every policy of President Obama and I surely don’t believe everything that President Obama believes,” said Adams. “But just because we have differing beliefs, that doesn’t give me the right to disrespect the President of the United States of America. More importantly, if another person and I disagree on any issue and that person has a problem with my support of President Obama, that doesn’t give them the right to commit a criminal act by vandalizing my private property. That’s just wrong and I hope these perpetrators are caught and penalized for their actions.”
Upon arriving at the scene and viewing the damage, Adams immediately primed the wall with white paint with immediate plans to begin work on a new mural in the next several days.
Both Adams and Davis state that no act of vandalism will deter them from ensuring that a mural of support for President Obama remains on the wall at the 3700 block of Travis and West Alabama.
A videotape of the incident is being reviewed and law enforcement is investigating the incident. Anyone with information on this criminal act of vandalism is encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.