Prescott, WTF?

June 5, 2010

Another episode of It Came from Pharyngula; I am pretty disgusted with part of my home state today. Well, to narrow it down, with some of the people there. Hey, and it’s not even Jan Brewer’s fault! FYI I am being subtle with my language, but some of the links are not.

Prescott, AZ is a nice enough place north of Phoenix, but not as far as Flagstaff. Judging from weather searches it’s far enough north for the distance and the altitude to make a difference, may not get as chilly as Flag though. Not the kind of place I’d be averse to living in, really. A little cooler wouldn’t be bad.

But judging from this article, the conservatism that dominates the northern part of the state, like Phoenix, has exerted some unwholesome effect upon Prescott.

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.

Let’s have a look at this, shall we?
(Taken from here)
What’s wrong with the shading, eh? Does it look bad, somehow? I wanted to get a shot of the entire thing. Shading. For what could that be a euphemism, I wonder. Let’s get closer…
I dunno…let’s have some boneheaded city councilman with a right-wing talk radio show spell it out. If I wasn’t being obvious enough.

City Councilman Steve Blair spearheaded a public campaign on his talk show at Prescott radio station KYCA-AM (1490) to remove the mural.

In a broadcast last month, according to the Daily Courier in Prescott, 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?”

Oh wait. …boneheaded city councilman who used to have a right-wing radio talk show. Ha!

Delving into more interesting, but less well sourced claims, one of the artists mentions a few comments from the peanut gallery as he and the kids worked on it. To think, those kids’ faces in the mural are taken from photographs of students. Out there in Prescott, there’s some kid whose face just isn’t up to snuff for some townsfolk. Poor guy. If this is true, I wouldn’t blame him if he gives up art entirely and studies mathematics. Key to the universe!

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).”

Evidently somebody (please!) didn’t think of the children.

The Daily Courier, the local paper, had an editorial on the subject, where I found a slideshow of pictures. It seems to adequately sum up the situation. It’s nice to see such a response from their paper and evidently some of the comments recorded there from people in town. So I don’t share quite as much vitriol as PZ Myers, but I bet the citizens are facepalming over the notoriety this will engender.

As the saying goes, in a democracy, people get the government they deserve. Reap what you sow, and all that rot. In this case, infamy!


One comment

  1. I love politicians. Open mouth, insert foot. We haven’t had this much fun with our elected officials since former Gov. Evan Meacham referred to a certain ethnicity as “pickaninnies”. Not quite the “N” word, but the uproar was priceless nonetheless.

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