After The White House Put Up A Wall, The People 'Made It Beautiful'
It did not take long for the Trump administration to throw up fencing around the White House amid widespread protests, placing an additional barrier between the President of the United States and Americans demanding change in the wake of yet another black man’s death at the hands of police.
But that fence quickly became something far more than a mere barrier between President Donald Trump and the people, The Washington Post noted on Wednesday. It has become a memorial to honor the many “black men, women and children who have lost their lives at the hands of police.”
“Instead of serving as an obstacle to their message, the wall had become the message,” The Post wrote, now “filled with posters and flowers and paintings and photos.”
“Black people tend to take things meant to hold them back and turn them into things that make us stronger,” said Dayna Crawmer, who is black, shortly after tying her own sign to the fence on Sunday. “And that’s what happened here.”
- The fence is adorned with elaborate scenes painted on canvas, The Post noted, as well as neatly-printed slogans on paper.
- Some protesters “just scrawled three words on cardboard — often, ‘I CAN’T BREATHE,’ the collective cry of protest since Floyd died beneath the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.”
- Many protesters lingered by certain signs, including "A poster with Floyd’s final 84 words, including 'Mama' twice and 'Please' 12 times."
“He put this out here to push us away, to divide us,” Pete Brennan said of Trump, shortly after adding his own poster. “But the people made it beautiful.”
- The fence also served as a teaching tool, The Post reported, as “Mothers began using the wall to teach their children about racism, and police brutality, and what it means to be ‘complicit.’”
But unlike Trump’s prized wall along the southern U.S. border, this barrier will not last.
The National Park Service announced that the fencing will be removed by Wednesday, according to the report.
Officials at District museums — including the African American Museum of History and Culture — launched a last-minute rescue mission when they heard, vowing to would gather mementos from the wall for the historical record. And as the sun rose Wednesday morning, demonstrators removed most of the signs from the fence to protect them — hanging some on a wall across the street, saving some for the museums and taking some home for safekeeping.