Sunday, June 6, 2010
Racism Abounds in KKK Arizona: School Whitens Brown Students’ Faces on Mural
chattahbox.com reports: The State of Arizona has become a stain on our nation. When bigoted extremists start running the asylum this is what happens. With Arizona’s harsh immigration law that fosters an all-out war against brown-skinned residents, it’s suddenly become acceptable to outwardly display racism and bigotry. After all, Gov. Jan Brewer and fellow Republican nativist lawmakers have stoked fear and hate with their constant rhetoric of being “overrun” with violent “illegals.” The hate is so rampant now in Arizona that an elementary school principal in Prescott demanded that a school mural be changed to whiten the skin of an Hispanic student.
The furor over a public image of an Hispanic boy, was fueled by a prominent city councilman, who also hosts a talk radio show. Councilman Steve Blair went on a rant over the depiction of an Hispanic boy, as the centerpiece of a “Go on Green” mural, gracing the walls of the Miller Valley Elementary School. The mural depicts four actual students of the school promoting environmentally friendly transportation.
Blair became incensed that the featured student was brown-skinned in his town of Prescott that is about 90 percent white. He blamed political correctness and President Obama for the dark-skinned boy sullying the school’s mural: “I am not a racist individual,” (why do racists always say this?) 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 person that Blair finds so offensive, is a portrait of an Hispanic boy who attends Miller Valley Elementary School, one of the most racially diverse schools in town.
“Art is in the eye of the beholder, but I say [the mural] looks like graffiti in L.A.,” ranted Blair. The nativist Councilman also railed against diversity and “different” people. Blair said, “I can’t stand” the word diversity. “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 added. After Blair’s bigoted remarks, passing motorists began driving by the mural, hurling racial slurs at the artists and school children painting the mural. Artist R.E. Wall, director of Prescott’s Downtown Mural Project, told The Arizona Republic that after months of shouted racial epithets, school principal Jeff Lane pressured him to lighten the student’s skin tone:
“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).” “It is being lightened because of the controversy,” Wall said, adding that “they want it to look like the children are coming into light.” But Lane insists his demand to whiten the students’ faces had nothing to do with the bigoted town sentiment. Lane claims he just wanted the mural to look brighter and he asked the artists to correct the shading. “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.”
In Blair’s warped worldview, the depiction of a dark-skinned student in his lily-white town, is evidence of a “pathetic” conspiracy of diversity. “Personally, I think it’s pathetic,” he says. “You have changed the ambiance of that building to excite some kind of diversity power struggle that doesn’t exist in Prescott, Arizona. And I’m ashamed of that.” Blair is ashamed for all the wrong reasons.
(Update: Blair was sacked by the radio station KYCA. He has no plans to resign from the city council, but perhaps there are a majority of non-bigoted residents in Prescott who would force the issue. “When my constituents in the city tell me it’s time for me to go, and that I’m affecting how the city does its business, I will go. I ran because I wanted to help. If I can no longer do that, I’ll step down,” said Blair.