Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This Is One of Those Only-in-America Stories

Here's the gist of the story, but you can read all about it here. Dateline Prescott, Arizona, where the ongoing civic project at the Miller Valley Elementary School is the painting of a "Go on Green" mural which covers the sides of two buildings. The point of the mural is to promote environmentally benign methods of transportation. The mural features pictures of four children, with a Hispanic child being the prominent one.

Are you ready for this? The group of artists painting the mural have been told by the school principal to lighten the faces of the non-Caucasian children. The principal, Jeff Lane, claims that his request has nothing whatever to do with race. "We asked them to fix the shading of the children's faces," he said. "We were looking at it from an artistic view. Nothing at all to do with race." Yeah, right. And polar bears can be found at the equator.

The project director, however, says that for two months he and the other artists on the project were subjected to a constant stream of racial slander from the vehicles of people passing through one of the busiest intersections in town. So the kids from the school helping to paint got to hear the grown-ups yelling all these hateful things.

The local yahoo city councilman campaigned to have the mural removed altogether, claiming it wasn't an accurate depiction of the realities in Prescott. You know, he's probably right: the reality of life and attitudes in Prescott emanate from the mouths of its sterling citizens yelling about "niggers" and "spics" at a group of artists and children.

And you wonder why I don't have much faith in this country.
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