Recent events in Arizona have cast the state in an ugly light -- racial tensions, anti-immigrant animus, and ethnicity-based demagoguery have created a toxic political environment. This won't help.Artists who painted a mural at an elementary school in Prescott depicting four students, with the most prominent being a Hispanic boy, were asked to lighten the faces amid taunts and tensions.
R.E. Wall, the artist who heads the Prescott Downtown Mural Project, told a local newspaper passersby regularly shouted racially charged comments at his group while they were creating the mural at the Miller Valley Elementary School."You're desecrating our school," "Get the ni---- off the wall," "Get the sp-- off the wall," were common, Wall said. "The pressure stayed up consistently," Wall said. "We had two months of cars shouting at us."The school principal reportedly asked the artists to "remove some shadowing that made the faces darker than they are." Wall said he and his artists were instructed to make the children appear more "radiant and happy."
The uproar seems to be largely the result of complains from a city councilman, Steve Bair, who insisted that the mural "looks like graffiti in L.A."
"I am not a racist individual," Blair said on a recent radio show, "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?'"
Because that's one of the actual students, you racist piece of shit. And a word to the unwise here: saying you're "not a racist individual" right before spewing racist bullshit does not magically make you "not a racist." You're a fucking racist scumbag.
So are the citizens of the city I used to live in who engaged in some drive-by slurring. And I would've given the Smack-o-Matic the workout of its young life, but I don't have to, as PZ already applied the pain:
I know there are quite a few good people in Prescott. I hope they're good enough to lay the smackdown of all smackdowns on the prejudiced pricks who are giving Prescott a reputation as Redneck Jackass Capitol of the World.The citizens of Prescott can hang their heads in shame, too. You people listen to these low-life scum? You drive by the mural and shout "Nigger!" and "Spic!" out your car windows? That's the impression the rest of the country now has. Just firing the one bigot who inflames this stuff on the radio is not quite enough to compensate.