Question: Would you "scrub" the walls of MOMA or The Louvre? As in, dismantle the paintings from the walls - metaphorically scrubbing them clean of art?
If you answered yes, then please annihilate yourself immediately.
If you answered no, then congratulate yourself on having taste and culture, and please read further.
Cleaning up grafitti has got to be the biggest waste of time and resources, not to mention just plain ol' DUMB. The world is our museum! Splatter the walls of bridges and buildings with sinister scribblings or Dada-esque whimsy!
Most public structures are homogenously hideous. There is no vivacity to them...they reek of colorless sameness.
Sure, I'm aware that tags are pointless and petty, but the majority of street art is awesome, and should proliferate until every monotonous lifeless surface is bursting with colorful cartoonish character!
So what if some street artists are in gangs? These days, the majority are not, anyway, as street art has become an almost sanctioned form of self-expression.
But even those in gangs are doing society a FAVOR: they are evincing themselves creatively, a wonderful outlet for them, and in turn giving us bizarre beauty to behold.
Furthermore, and this is the most salient point to consider, some of these street artists morph into gallery and museum artists. Sure, in some ways this can be considered a sell-out, but I say that a street artist displaying his or her talents in a more societally sanctioned space can only benefit the world of street art, through showing people more radical modes of expression. Closed-minded types may be more likely to "approve" of street graffitti if they see similar works in a gallery. After all, look at the success of Basquiat.
So, yeah. Up with street art, muthafreakaz! Who cares if it's illegal? That's what gives it such seductive intrigue! DUH.