"I'm not a racist by any stretch of the imagination, but whenever people start talking about diversity, it's a word I can't stand."
- Steve Blair, KYCA-AM talk show host and Prescott City Councilman.
mural on the side of an elementary school in Prescott, AZ is quickly
becoming the icon of Arizona's legislative and educational goals. It
depicts the actual children of the school in solidarity for green
transportation. Sounds cool, eh? But one city councilman/broadcaster
wants it destroyed. Because the most prominent child in the large mural
is black. And most of the other kids are ...brown.
While painting it, the local artists were subjected to the epithets of "n-word" and "spic" shouted out of passing cars. The principal of the school has decided that the best thing to do under the circumstances is to lighten the faces of the kids!
R.E. Wall, director of the Prescott Downtown Mural Project, described weeks of tense working conditions for the "Mural Mice," the group of artists responsible for the Miller Valley mural and several others around town.
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."
Faces in the mural were drawn from photographs of the Miller Valley School (no student over 10 years old, Miller Valley being only a K-5 school). The artwork was chosen by both students and faculty.
Steve Blair, the broadcaster/councilman says he is "ashamed" of the "diversity power struggle" that he thinks is depicted in the mural.
hasn't been reported yet what the children in the mural think about
their images being lightened to conform with Prescott's image of
itself. Neither has it been said what they think of the people of
Prescott who obviously hate them.
Prescott's image is getting to be the image of Arizona as well.