Snark can’t even begin to cope with this sickening display of hatred–directed at elementary school children:
A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott [Arizona] school.
The project’s leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children’s ethnicity. But the school’s principal says the request was only to fix shading and had nothing to do with political pressure.
The “Go on Green” mural, which covers two walls outside Miller Valley Elementary School, was designed to advertise a campaign for environmentally friendly transportation. It features portraits of four children, with a Hispanic boy as the dominant figure.
R.E. Wall, director of Prescott’s Downtown Mural Project, said he and other artists were subjected to slurs from motorists as they worked on the painting at one of the town’s most prominent intersections.
“We consistently, for two months, had people shouting racial slander from their cars,” Wall said. “We had children painting with us, and here come these yells of (epithet for Blacks) and (epithet for Hispanics).”
…Faces in the mural were drawn from photographs of children enrolled at Miller Valley, a K-5 school with 380 students and the highest ethnic mix of any school in Prescott.
Of course, there is a opportunistic politician lurking behind this:
City Councilman Steve Blair spearheaded a public campaign on his talk show at Prescott radio station KYCA-AM (1490) to remove the mural.
In a broadcast last month, according to the Daily Courier in Prescott, Blair mistakenly complained that the most prominent child in the painting is African-American, saying: “To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?”
Blair could not be reached for comment Thursday. In audio archives of his radio show, Blair discusses the mural. He insists the controversy isn’t about racism but says the mural is intended to create racial controversy where none existed before.
“Personally, I think it’s pathetic,” he says. “You have changed the ambience of that building to excite some kind of diversity power struggle that doesn’t exist in Prescott, Arizona. And I’m ashamed of that.
I suppose “racially divisive” is the new black.
To those like Councilman Blair, accurately depicting the student body–that is, reminding white people that they aren’t primus inter pares anymore–is no doubt raising a “diversity power struggle.” This is how Palinism garners so much support: some white people practice the most pernicious form of indentity politics, the politics of the blood.
What’s worse is that we have reached the point where people, including putative leaders and opinion makers, feel comfortable stating this crap in public. And it’s not just the animals who yell racist slurs. Consider what Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker wrote in 2008—on the pages of The Washington Post no less (italics mine):
It’s about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots.
Some run deeper than others and therein lies the truth of Josh Fry’s political sense. In a country that is rapidly changing demographically — and where new neighbors may have arrived last year, not last century — there is a very real sense that once-upon-a-time America is getting lost in the dash to diversity.
We love to boast that we are a nation of immigrants–and we are. But there’s a different sense of America among those who trace their bloodlines back through generations of sacrifice…
What they know is that their forefathers fought and died for an America that has worked pretty well for more than 200 years. What they sense is that their heritage is being swept under the carpet while multiculturalism becomes the new national narrative. And they fear what else might get lost in the remodeling of America.
They’re not racist or anything, they just have strong ties to where they’re from. They have deep roots that go back generations stemming from a multi-generation attachment to their country.
They’re not racist or anything, except when they freak out over a large picture of a brown child*, or when they hurl racial epithets at children.
Then they’re pretty racist. And it’s the opportunists like Councilman Blair and the enablers like Kathleen Parker–and The Washington Post–who help let this happen.
*Since Blair thought the child was black, maybe he only hates African-Americans?[/snark]