Friday, June 4, 2010

Racism is alive and well in America

What do you think of this mural?

Apparently, quite a few people in Prescott, AZ think it needs to be taken down. It's been painted on the side of Miller Valley School and represents ways to go green and help the environment. The child at the center of the mural is modeled after a student at the school.

There have been calls to remove the mural and the school officials have asked the artists to lighten the faces of the children in the mural. They claim it's to better represent them moving into the light and being "radiant and happy".

The artist has related that during the painting of the mural, drivers passing the school shouted racial epithets despite the fact that students were assisting at the time.

Wall reports hearing comments such as "You're desecrating our school," "Get the ni----- off the wall," and "Get the sp-- off the wall."

"The pressure stayed up consistently," Wall said. "We had two months of cars shouting at us."
 These drivers were not alone. On his very own radio talk show, City Councilman Steve Blair said this:
I am not a racist individual, but I will tell you depicting a black guy in the middle of that mural, based upon who's president of the United States today and based upon the history of this community when I grew up, we had four black families - who I have been very good friends with for years - to depict the biggest picture on that building as a black person, I would have to ask the question, 'Why?'"
Comments on The Daily Courier  and The Arizona Republic are worth reading just to get an example of the atmosphere. Many commenters express dismay and shame over the general level of ugliness surrounding this kerfluckel. Others rail about the "ugliness" of the mural and not a few compare it gang graffiti in LA.

Students voted on the mural and helped paint it. Now they're being told that their work is too controversial, too political and an eyesore. If I were a parent of one those children, I'd be pissed.

Miller Valley school is the most racially diverse school in Prescott. This mural depicts that. Some folks just can't handle it.

1 comment:

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Maybe Arizona should be given back to Mexico.