Not the most racist thing to happen in Arizona recently, but this is just such a bizarre and exasperating story:
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)."
Wall said school Principal Jeff Lane pressed him to make the children's faces appear happier and brighter.
"It is being lightened because of the controversy," Wall said, adding that "they want it to look like the children are coming into light."
Lane said that he received only three complaints about the mural and that his request for a touch-up had nothing to do with political pressure. "We asked them to fix the shading on the children's faces," he said. "We were looking at it from an artistic view. Nothing at all to do with race."
Of course. Skin color has nothing to do with race. Everyone knows that.
Here's a picture of that terribly somber, depressing child who needed to be
whitened brightened up:
A city councilmember pushed for the change and riled people up on his radio show. Doesn't he know that everyone knows what "I'm not racist but" means?
The ranting of one city councilman seems to have revved up the controversy in the community.
"Art is in the eye of the beholder, but I say [the mural] looks like graffiti in L.A.," Councilman Steve Blair said.
"I am not a racist individual," Blair said on a radio show last month, "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?'"
The "black guy" in the mural is based on a student of Mexican descent, a school official said.
I know it can be confusing, since there are black people who live in Mexico. If you ask me that kid looks Mestizo, but to folks like Blair all that's important is that he isn't white. He even says he hates the word "diversity," which has long been code for African Americans:
Blair said Wednesday diversity is a word "I can't stand."
"The focus doesn't need to be on what's different; the focus doesn't need to be on the minority all the time," he said.
Why doesn't anyone ever pay attention to white people? How come no one wants to portray them in art? Can't a white guy ever catch a break?
The school has backed down, but considering that the poster was based on actual students at the school, I can only imagine how this kid will see his skin color after its darkness caused such a huge controversy and had to be literally white-washed. I'm guessing no one thought about that.