A California charter school has painted over a mural depicting an Aztec warrior-priest holding a human heart and presenting President Donald Trump’s severed head on a spear. A cake artist falsely identified as the mural painter decried the attempt at censorship of the mural, boldly posting the image on Facebook.
“They can try to censor it but here it is guys!!!!” Sasha Andrade Mercado posted on Facebook, with the call to “make this go viral” and offering “some stickers” based on the image.
The lead artist behind the mural, who goes by the name “Mex,” said he would not apologize for the artwork.
For her part, Mercado said she did participate in painting the mural, but she did not contribute to the Aztec Trump sacrifice image. Numerous sites referenced her as the artist, and she said she had received death threats.
“We decided to change the mural because there were threats made to the school from ‘white supremacist’ and threats to the kids, we were just going to adjust the mural but when things got out of control and the school started receiving threats and putting the students at risk we decided to change it completely,” Mercado added in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“Other media outlets started to enter school property and not being nice about it for example KUSI News John Soderman walked in the schools [sic] reception demanding to see the mural with no respect what so ever they also did not do their research and gave out my name and my images without my permission and because of that is why I started to get hate threats,” she added.
“I don’t mind all the messages because we are all entitled to our own opinions just like we are entitled to freedom of expression and painting what we feel like,” the cake artist wrote.
At long last, she launched into an attack on President Trump. “We will never give up to fighting for our rights and fighting to end this racist country that this ‘president’ has created!” Mercado declared.
The school’s director, Tommy Ramirez, explained that the mural did not “align with our school’s philosophy of non-violence.”
“We understand that there was a mural painted at the event this past weekend that does not align with our school’s philosophy of non-violence. We have been in communication with the artist who has agreed to modify the artwork to better align with the school’s philosophy,” he said in a statement.
The mural itself echoed many popular leftist themes. The Aztec warrior ostensibly represented native Americans retaking the land from white colonialists, with Trump representing white people and the history of white oppression.
Even so, the Aztec warrior also does not represent all native Americans, but the image does represent one of the most oppressive native American regimes. The Aztec empire infamously sacrificed human beings (mostly slaves from other native American tribes in their area of what is today Mexico and central America) by ripping out their hearts atop pyramids.
While many Spanish, French, and British colonists did indeed cheat and kill native Americans, many native American tribes did the same to them. The Aztecs, while they were a proud people and an impressive civilization, demonstrate that native Americans were indeed violent, oppressive, and even occasionally outright demonic long before Europeans arrived with Christopher Columbus.
Ironically, even in this mural celebrating a victory over an allegedly racist president, artists acknowledged the dark history of native Americans. Many leftists dismiss the Judeo-Christian, free-market, and limited-government heritage of the United States by focusing on the negative aspects of that history. Doing so is no better than rejecting all native American heritage and history by citing the Aztecs.
This mural celebrating Aztec human sacrifice in the name of attacking President Trump is the tragic equivalent of Trump supporters resorting to white nationalism and the Ku Klux Klan. Violence, oppression, and racism do not become suddenly acceptable when they symbolize the victory of “my team” over “your team.” Tribalism should never outweigh any American’s sense of right and wrong.
“Comedian” Kathy Griffin became notorious for presenting a severed head of President Trump. This mural also suggested that her disgusting ploy inspires anti-Trump activists across the country.
While Mex and Mercado have the free speech to paint and share this offensive image, the school’s decision to paint over the artwork arguably represents a step forward. Mercado herself said she is working on the art that will cover up the image.
No matter how offensive such artwork is, death threats against artists are horrific and unacceptable. The right response to offensive speech is corrective speech, never violence.