SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A mural of civil rights activist Dolores Huerta in San Francisco that was defaced over the weekend has been cleaned up and repainted.
“It’s messed up, man” said Suaro Luis Cervantes, the mural’s original artist.
Cervantes painted the likeness of the iconic activist and spent several hours scrubbing off the black paint and touching up the painting.
“There’s so much in the world going on, and you want to like, what? Like, c’mon, now,” said Cervantes, puzzled at the string of vandalism that struck 24th and York in the Mission District.
Including the Huerta mural, a total of five images were hit overnight this weekend, including Sitting Bull and Nelson Mandela. The vandal sprayed black paint on the faces, added a mustache on another and covered the eyes on others.
“Whoever you are, you’re a sick puppy. Sick! On top of racist,” said Carlos Gonzales, “I can’t prove that it’s a racist person, but somebody who definitely doesn’t like the culture.”
Gonzales and Cervantes donated the mural years ago,and have periodically repaired and maintained it, free of charge. A typical repair on this magnitude can cost $1,000.
Gonzales’ work is no stranger to vandalism. He says gang members typically sign their names and swastikas have become more common lately. But blacking out eyes is “unusual.”
“Because if they come at night, 3 or 4 in the morning, nobody’s around to catch them, they do what they do. But they don’t have the nerve to do it during the day because if the homies catch them, they’ll get stomped. They’re not that cool, they’re not that bad. So, they’re cowards,” said Gonzales.
“I don’t take it personally because it’s like, people are just going through what they’re going through, you know?” said Cervantes.
Gonzales had a personal message and warning for the vandal.
“I wish peace and love get into your heart. And cut the crazy s*** before somebody stomps you. Seriously,” said Gonzales.