Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott (Arizona)

A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school.

The project's leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children's ethnicity. But the school's principal says the request was only to fix shading and had nothing to do with political pressure.

The "Go on Green" mural, which covers two walls outside Miller Valley Elementary School, was designed to advertise a campaign for environmentally friendly transportation. It features portraits of four children, with a Hispanic boy as the dominant figure.

azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/06/04/20100604arizona-mural-sparks-racial-debate.html

While first painting the mural, the artists were subjected every day to people driving by and shouting racial slurs. A city councilman, Steve Blair, has a talk radio show and began a campaign to have the mural removed. At one point, Blair mistakenly complained that the most prominent child in the painting is African-American, saying: "To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?"

The faces on the mural were based on photographs of the children at the school.

My sister lives in Prescott, Arizona, and has for the past 25 years. I think one of her kids went to this school years ago, at least, it sounds familiar. I’ll have to ask her what she has heard.

And, I ask, what would be the problem of having the biggest picture on the building be a “Black person?” I would have hoped folks were beyond counting just how many of each race were depicted and just which one would be “biggest.”

Just sad.:frowning:

The city councilman/radio personality has now been fired from his radio job, and there are calls for him to step down from the council. He apparently said that portraying black non-white children so prominently was too "in your face" and that he was offended by having to drive by the mural every day. BTW, children from the school served as models for the artists that painted the mural - the kids in the mural are real kids that go to that school. The school has also reversed its decision to tell the artists to lighten the kids' skin tone, admitting it was a mistake to do so.

This story should be a wake-up call to those that say there is no more racism in America. We have come a long way in the past several decades, but racism lingers.

tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/060510_prescott_fired

"It is being lightened because of the controversy," Wall said, adding that "they want it to look like the children are coming into light."

Um, yeah. As in, "All the little children, come into the light."?

Public officials should have learnt by now that murals are nothing but grief.

Several years ago the Mass or Vermont capitol (legislative offices?) were redecorating and installed murals showing various periods in the state's history.
To be politically correct they included Native Americans happily planting maize before the Euros arrived and wrecked everything.
Historically accurate, the women were naked from the waist but not facing the viewer.
Well! Up went cries of sexual harassment, hostile working environment, &c, &c, ad nauseum.

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Hi all. New here.
I live in Prescott. This whole thing has been blown way out of proportion. It isn't about race, it never was. The people involved have their own agenda. They figure by calling the opposition racists and bigots they will silence them. The former mayor Jack Wilson has a major axe to grind with Councilman Blair. Here's the woman spearheading the recall of our Councilman. standingonthesideoflove.org/blog/ prescottuu.org/index.pl?id=2446;isa=Category;op=show Seems she and her group have nothing better to do than find something to protest! I'm just doing my part to help spread the truth!!

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