Friday, June 04, 2010

Arizona elementary school orders Black and Latino students’ faces on mural changed to White

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“Controversial” mural at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona
“Controversial” mural at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona

They keep telling us how the increasingly hostile climate of anti-immigration in certain southern parts of the United States is all about politics and sociology and whatever and has nothing to do with racism. Well, okay; I’d be willing to believe that – were I a blind fool who didn’t know how to detect bigotry from across the globe. But then, you come across stories such as this one and any lingering doubts about intolerance being a fuel behind the growing resentment and mistreatment towards minorities in Bigot America are spectacularly crushed:

An Arizona elementary school mural featuring the faces of kids who attend the school has been the subject of constant daytime drive-by racist screaming, from adults, as well as a radio talk-show campaign (by an actual city councilman, who has an AM talk-radio show) to remove the black student’s face, and now the school principal has ordered the faces of the Latino and Black students to be changed to Caucasian skin.


The children depicted on the mural, as we mentioned before but feel compelled to repeat, are little kids who go to the school — “a K-5 school with 380 students and the highest ethnic mix of any school in Prescott. Wall said thousands of town residents volunteered or donated to the project.”

And these children, for the past several months as this happy mural encouraging “green transportation” was being painted by local artists, have been treated to the city of Prescott’s finest citizens driving by and yelling “Nigger” and “Spic” at this school wall painted with pictures of the children who attend the school. And this has been encouraged by a city councilman, Steve Blair, who uses his local radio talk show to rile up these people and demand the mural be destroyed.

And now the faces are being painted white, “because of the controversy.”

As I say, it’s always fun when bigots throw their real colors into relief so blatantly as it makes our jobs of locating them so much easier when they just denounce themselves like that. It’s only sad that they so often choose to do so at the expense of others – in this case, innocent schoolchildren who get persecuted for being part of cultural and ethnic groups that are rapidly becoming modern-day pariahs in a supposedly tolerant world.

The planet’s looking at you, Arizonans, and it doesn’t like what it sees.

(via @ebertchicago)