The growing trend of using the nation’s streets as a platform for politically-themed murals remained in the news over the weekend. As you may recall, supporters of the NYPD are currently attempting to get permission to paint a Blue Lives Matter display on a street near Police Square in Manhattan, much to the chagrin of many protesters from the other side of the debate. But that’s not the only “alternate” street mural making headlines. Out in Salt Lake City, an artist by the name of Tayler Hansen broke out his brushes and pigments and got to work on a mural of his own in front of the local Planned Parenthood office late Friday night. Tayler had a message about “lives mattering” as well, but it wasn’t of the Black or Blue variety. Instead, he painted “Baby Lives Matter” in the same giant letters we’ve grown used to seeing in cities around the nation. (Live Action)
A pro-life artist painted “Baby Lives Matter” on the street in front of Planned Parenthood in Salt Lake City, Utah. Artist Tayler Hansen told KUTV that he painted the mural at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, July 18th, because he wanted to raise awareness for life inside the womb.
“With recent events unfolding, everybody knows about the Black Lives Matter murals unfolding around the nation,” he explained. “I thought I would bring awareness to one of the biggest human rights crises that nobody wants to talk about.”
Hansen said he used paint that would wash away easily and last no more than 10 days. As of Saturday morning, the mural was removed. Hansen wrote on Twitter on July 18, “The mural has already been desecrated and erased to an extent. THIS IS NOT OVER!”
‘Baby Lives Matter’ painted on the street front of a Planned Parenthood in Salt Lake City overnight.
Once leftists opened up public roads for political speech it was only a matter of time before a conservative response.
The pro-life artist was @TaylerUSA
Expect more of this: pic.twitter.com/IcoVpVY9C3
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 18, 2020
As noted in the excerpt above, Hansen was polite enough to use water-soluble paint that could be easily cleaned up when the display was concluded. He designed the work so it would last a maximum of roughly ten days, barring excessive rain. But that wasn’t good enough for somebody. Not long after people were awake and able to see the mural, it was largely washed away.
The short lifespan of the display leaves us with a very simple question. Who erased it the following morning? Was it done at the behest of the police or some Salt Lake City elected official? If so, they should have put out a statement explaining their decision. But since none has been forthcoming, we might assume that it was either done by counter-protesters of some flavor or the workers at the Planned Parenthood center themselves.
If that’s the case, someone has some explaining to do. I seem to recall a story from only a couple of weeks ago where we learned that two people were being charged with a hate crime for “defacing” a Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California. In that case, they painted over a portion of the mural. In Salt Lake City someone has basically wiped it out entirely.
Now that it’s been established by elected officials around the country that painting murals on city streets is not only allowable but apparently some sort of civil right that can’t be impinged upon, what sort of justice is available for Mr. Hansen? You don’t have to agree with his sentiment about how the lives of babies matter, but you also most certainly can’t silence his voice on a hotly contested issue of public debate. And yet someone has done just that. Where are the armies of protesters rushing to Tayler Hansen’s defense?
Perhaps I’m once again simply showing how jaded I’ve become after six decades on the planet, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Clearly, some messages “matter” more than others.