Alex Blaze

Won't somebody please think of the children('s skin color)?

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 06, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Arizona, elementary school, kids, painting, prescott, racism

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.

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From a purely artistic standpoint, the kid's skin needs to be darkened. The colors are totally washed out and way too low-contrast. Same thing for his shirt; the jeans are OK.

Is it me or are the artists darker than the kid they're painting?

Due to photographic and lighting issues its hard to tell what the true color of the mural is other than that they are painting a lighter shade on the childs face. Wet paint tends to be lighter. Meanwhile they haven't changed the childs face.

Anyone that says "I'm not racist" is RACIST! I'm from south Alabama and some of my family is hard core racist. The kind that wears hoods and proclaims white supremacy.

You can white wash a painting. You can't white wash the children in the school.

And those that speak against diversity never bother to look in the mirror to see that they are part of diversity. They never do.

My god some crazy white person spoke up about small town white dare him .to read the news as of late, I should be ashamed to have been born White in this country with a predominantly white population.hey guess what I don't feel bad at all.
so stop playing the race card, every time something don't go your soon as you use the race card. I turn you off and tune you there you go, get over it.I don't care about you or your cause or concerns,because when using the race card you set your self apart from the rest of us,your telling white America your different from the rest of us.
and for that reason,you deserve this or that or what ever your cause may be, like I said I tuned you out.change begins with one person at a time,so if I was you,and I was promoting a cause,the last thing I would say is that white America has victimized me because I am not white.

"spoke up about small town white America"

It's "white America", yet the kids attending the school aren't white. Do I need to explain the broken logic?

"your telling white America your different from the rest of us"

News flash, that's the message white people send to people of color every day, in every form of media and on the streets.

"I'm not a racist, but..." is a red flag, and so is the term "race card". Congratulations, you just earned a racist card.

What is it with Arizona lately? Just when you think they can't do anything more forehead-slap-worthy... I'm at a loss.

This is egregious. That city councilor is obviously racist. Period.

I would say that you are part of the "Problem" then. Substitute small town for midsized city and I could fit that same demographic upbringers description but that is no excuse for the counsel men (or the other offensive drive by adults behavior)

The councilmen is a racist, there are no if ands or buts about it, to want to lighten the skin of a "student" on a mural that reflects that of an actual student in the school as well as many others that attend the school (and will in the future) is not something that is of non racist intent. To say that you don't like the word diversity because it implies that there are differences and that we have acknowledged the "minorities" and come together is inherently racist. (and so are the statements in your post my friend.)

One would wonder how are those that are being treated poorly, are being abused or being wronged because of their race supposed to draw attention to it with out fits acknowledging the fact that it is because they are "different" from being white? (like there is something inherently great about being white) Your logic fails it is the logic of segregation and shut up and stay in your place, with out the messiness of official segregation to deal with.

What the heck is "white America"? to me it sounds like some scary trashy theme park, but seriously is it some special set of skills and values etc or what?