This mural is painted on the side of an elementary school in Prescott, Arizona. Recently completed, it features the faces of children who attend the school, but not everyone is pleased with the outcome.
Prescott City Councilman Steve Blair, who also has a daily radio show on Fox News-owned radio station KYCA-1490-AM wants the mural taken down completely. He claims it depicts an agenda, an indoctrination of public school children. Somehow I do not think this has much to do with indoctrination nor do I think he really cares much about public schools. Especially public schools with brown children in them.
Instead of removing it, the school principal asked the artists to lighten the faces of the children in the picture. This request follows harassment of those same artists by drive-by wingers flinging racial epithets at them while they were painting it. Welcome to Arizona.
Lighten the skin tone on the faces of the children in the picture, because we cannot have brown children representing the children of Prescott.
Hear that, Arizona? That's the sound of the term racist being slapped all over your state whether it's deserved or not. That's the sound of Rupert Murdoch bringing his peculiar brand of thought-cleansing to your backyards. Do not, under any circumstances, make brown children look beautiful without changing their skin color.
And these children, for the past several months as this happy mural encouraging “green transportation” was being painted by local artists, have been treated to the city of Prescott’s finest citizens driving by and yelling “Nigger” and “Spic” at this school wall painted with pictures of the children who attend the school. And this has been encouraged by a city councilman, Steve Blair, who uses his local radio talk show to rile up these people and demand the mural be destroyed.
A few more gems from City Councilman Limbaugh wannabe Blair:
"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." Daily Courier
"I will tell you depicting a black guy in the middle of that mural, based upon who's President of the United States today ..." Daily Courier
"To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?" AZCentral.com
Of course, when Blair is directly accused of stirring up racial controversy, he cries innocence in the time-honored tradition of Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing loudmouths who immediately decry the accusation of racism while living it straight up for all to see.
"Personally, I think it's pathetic," he says. "You have changed the ambience of that building to excite some kind of diversity power struggle that doesn't exist in Prescott, Arizona. And I'm ashamed of that." - AZCentral.com
Blair isn't just a radio personality who leads off the talkfest there at KYCA-AM. He's a city councilman. He actually has a say in what can and cannot be done in the city of Prescott. His show leads straight into Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh's radio show.
And so the mural artists will probably lighten the skin of the actual children who are depicted in that mural. Children who actually attend the actual school with the wall where that mural is painted. Children who are making a positive statement about ecology, the environment, and living 'green'. Children who are being taught a lifestyle that might actually free us from the bondage of oil.
It makes that "family values" part of the right-wing mantra seem so trite, doesn't it?