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.
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."Nothing at all to do with race. Here's the best part:
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."
City Councilman Steve Blair spearheaded a public campaign on his talk show at Prescott radio station KYCA-AM (1490) to remove the mural.
Yeah, that's right. An elected city official did this. To an elementary school mural. On his AM talk radio show. You know, because the little black and Latino kids might have actually seen a face that looked like them in an artistic depiction at a school that, you know, has Latino and black kids in it, when we have an African-American president and First Lady and kids who look like some of them playing on the swingset in the White House.
There are people who will never, ever, accept that. And they will make life a living hell for these kids and their parents and their community in the name of "taking their country back".
But it's not about race. It's never about race. Because if you point out the obvious fact that it is about race, and there's a campaign to rid the country of anybody who's too dark or has a weird or funny religion or wants to marry somebody of the same sex...you're the problem for pointing it out.
Racists, bigots...they hate to be called that more than anything else, you know.
Way to set an example for the 21st century, Arizona.