HOUSTON—A mural of President Obama that’s become a landmark in midtown Houston has been defaced and essentially destroyed in what looks like an act of political vandalism.
Someone splashed red paint across the image of the president displayed on an outside wall of The Breakfast Klub, a popular midtown dining spot. The restaurant’s owner quickly had the damaged painting covered with whitewash, but pedestrians walking down the street could still see streams of paint streaming down the wall.
“It concerns me what type of person would do this,” said Marcus Davis, the restaurant’s owner. “It concerns me more what types of persons would send these types of messages to our children. So my son—who has been told, ‘Look to President Barack Obama as an example of what you have the ability to do in life,’ -- has just also been told, ‘This is how we’re going to treat you once you do.’”
The high-profile mural has been defaced before. In January 2009, someone tagged the painting with the word “puppet” and added a couple of words to make an adjacent mural say “Yes we can lose our freedom.”
That damage was repaired with relative ease, but the extensive damage done this time ruined it entirely.
“My eight-year-old son participated the last time we repainted that mural,” Davis said. “And he asked me the same question yesterday that he asked me last year: ‘Daddy, who would do this? And why would they do this?’”
Davis quickly invited the artist who painted the mural to restore the work. He planned to turn a debate watch party into an art watch party, allowing his customers to see the landmark mural recreated while President Obama and Mitt Romney face each other in the season’s second presidential debate.
“This does not faze me.,” Davis said. “I do not cower in the face of foolishness. I will not be deterred. What they do not know is that this inspires me. What they do not know is that this makes me fight even harder.”
Meanwhile, a wave of Obama sign thefts continued in the upscale neighborhoods west of Rice University. One homeowner, a retired Navy veteran named Joe Santamaria, was so irritated after his second Obama sign was stolen out of his yard that he decided to post a warning notice in his yard.
The warning sign cautions sign thieves they’re trespassing and vows that if the sign is stolen, Santamaria will donate $1,000 to the Obama campaign.
“There’s some real strong opinions about our current president,” Santamaria said. “And I think, you know, he’s not treated with the same regard as past presidents have been treated.”