05 June 2010

But it's not about race

After that bracing little refresher course on post-racial politics from South Carolina we can turn to the great state of Arizona, where events have unjustly earned the state a reputation as being filled with anti-Mexican racists.

Hard to see why anyone would think that, but there is this from a town in Arizona called Prescott where the local elementary school decided to have a mural painted. Some of the children in the mural are based on actual students at the school. Here's a sample of some reactions, a told by the artist in charge of the project to the Prescott Daily Courier:
As the Miller Valley mural took shape, Wall said, he and the other artists working at the site heard regular racial slurs from the passengers of cars driving by.

Wall reports hearing comments such as "You're desecrating our school," "Get the ni----- off the wall," and "Get the sp-- off the wall."

"The pressure stayed up consistently," Wall said. "We had two months of cars shouting at us."

The hostility seems to have been sparked at least in part by local city councilman Steve Blair, but since he tells us
" 'I'm not a racist by any stretch of the imagination, but whenever people start talking about diversity, it's a word I can't stand.' " ... and " 'The focus doesn't need to be on what's different; the focus doesn't need to be on the minority all the time' " it could not be about race.

My imagination may be more flexible than Councilman Blair assumes.

the kid in question btw is an Hispanic (legal) but don't worry - the school told the artists to lighten his face.

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