Saturday, June 05, 2010

What Part of ' If You Ain't White', don't you understand?

hat tips-lamh32

I had to sleep on this, because I had to calm down about it.

from Wonkette

Arizona School Demands Black & Latino Students’ Faces On Mural Be Changed To White

This is America, in 2010, and there’s a dozen more states and endless white-trash municipalities ready to Officially Adopt this same Official Racist Insanity.

From the Arizona Republic:

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 ….

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).”

The children depicted on the mural, as we mentioned before but feel compelled to repeat, are little kids who go to the school — “a K-5 school with 380 students and the highest ethnic mix of any school in Prescott. Wall said thousands of town residents volunteered or donated to the project.”

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.

And now the faces are being painted white, “because of the controversy.”

Let that sit around in your brain for awhile.

Let's make this clear: they are erasing the presence of STUDENTS THAT GO TO THE SCHOOL.

These are Black and Brown children THAT GO TO THE SCHOOL.

Black people routinely get accused of being ' emotional'. You're so ' emotional'. The President is being criticized for not being ' emotional'. Yet, the moment he would show some emotion, he'd be labeled the ' Angry Black Man'.

If I was a parent at this school, I admit it.

I'd be in jail right now because I WISH I WOULD let some school administrators, who are fucking gutless, decide to paint over the faces that represent my child and others like my child.

Being Black in America is about picking and choosing your battles. For all the prattling that White folks do about Black people ' playing the race card', we DO pick our battles. That's because there's far too much racist shyt that comes across in our lives, and if we tackled every incident, when would we actually have the time to live our lives?

Being a Black parent in America is preparing your child for the day when they find out that someone hates you - not for anything that you've done, but because YOU EXIST. The Black parent doesn't know when that moment in time will happen; they just know that the day will come. That they will have to be an accomplice to the racists who want to harm their children, because they will have to strip that innocence from them in order to give them the tools by which they can maneuver in a racist society. And, that moment isn't within the power of control of the parent. The most basic instinct of a parent is to protect their child. It's the most natural instinct in the world. And, don't think that Black and Brown children love their children any less than White folks. So, when someone goes out of their way to harm their children, why should they react any differently?

This is a big deal because the mural was based upon CHILDREN IN THE SCHOOL.

What lesson do you think the children will get from seeing themselves ERASED FROM THAT MURAL?

What lesson do you the children will get from knowing that they have an school administration, that, when trouble came a calling, they didn't tell the racists to go jump in the lake, but that they buckled? Why should those children trust those administrators? As a parent, I wouldn't trust them. When faced with obvious idiocy and racism, these ADULTS buckled and caved, instead of standing up and defending the innocent children. Instead of calling it out for what it was-they wimped out, because, in the end, it wasn't ' THEIR' children being insulted.

A school is supposed to be a safe haven. That security has been stripped away from these children. In the end, they will know that others attacked them, and the adults who are supposed to protect them when they're away from home, GAVE INTO THOSE THAT ATTACKED THEM.

And, as a parent, how can you, in good conscience, leave your child in that school? How could you trust those administrators ever? There is a bond between parent and the school, and it's been broken.

As usual, a poster writes something so profound, it had to be included.

From Town:
The principal (whether she/he knows it or not) sent a signal to the white teachers at the school that it's ok to ignore and dismiss the black and brown students at the school. Those children will become more demoralized and not want to participate in school. I'm pretty sure some of the white teachers were already ignoring RaShawn and Jose but the principal just legitimized it.

The principal sent a signal that only the feelings and opinions of white people count. Black and brown parents will not want to participate in the school because they will be ignored. Children pick up on this.

So now you have an environment where the principal has signaled that only the feelings of white people are to be respected. Some white teachers will see this as a signal that ignoring RaKia and Gaby while paying attention to Miley is ok. Black and brown kids will pick up on the disrespect and not do well in school. White teachers will see the black/brown kids not doing well in school and continue to ignore them. Black/brown parents will either try to participate in school but be ignored or not even bother to participate because they'll be ignored. Either way the kids pick up on their parents not caring and the school not caring.

All because the principal cared more about not getting angry phone calls from racist white people than the kids at the school. This principal committed psychological murder on the black/brown children and needs to be removed from his/her post.

Tell the truth, Town.

From Booman Tribune:

However, there's also a part of the story involving a city councilman and local radio talk show host who declared his own fatwa against the mural, demanding that it be taken down:

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?"

Why indeed? Why is a local city council member with a radio show complaining about a mural because it has a picture of a black kid in it? Why would he care? Are black children not full American citizens (the 14th amendment to the US Constitution was passed to insure their citizenship rights were respected under the law)? The school made this decision to include minority children in the mural based on the composition of their racially diverse school. Why should that bother a city council member?

What kind of grown-assed man, an elected official no less, goes around, on the radio, even discussing a mural on a school wall?

What kind of pathetic, insecure, unstable, racist picks on pictures of CHILDREN?

I will continue to say this:


Racist, no good muthafuckas.

Plain and simple.


Roderick said...

Many white folk have had a f*ck it attitude since Obama was elected and it has only gotten worse along with the economy and other crises.

The boldness of these fools is disturbing on many levels and black conservatives thought that the Arizona immigration law was just about Hispanics. Uh huh

All I have to say is that all of us black folks need to own at least one gun and an ample supply of ammo because it's obvious that these crazies are intent on fostering a race war...sooner rather than later.

prosey said...

Been reading about this for over a week, and it's infuriating. Being originally from Arizona, and knowing the broad racial diversity there, I am embarrassed by much of it. The latest I read, though, was that the mural is to be left in its original form, with no lightening of faces or anything of the sort. I find the elected official involved an offensive excuse for a human being - for many of the reasons you noted here, and said by others in various mediums.

Roderick: You're correct, too. I have relatives who've gone batshit insane since day 1 of "the black man in the white house" -- and no amount of intelligent discussion can get it through their thick skulls that President Obama is nowhere near as "liberal" as they predicted he'd be, that he's NOT interested in taking people's guns, and that there's not gonna be a national order to start eating fried chicken and watermelon on a daily basis.

Can't let people (white, black, brown, etc) piss ya off. There is stupid everywhere. Lately, it's shining in my home state, but it's all over.

Oh, and not *all* white folk are trailer trash...many of us are fighting this xenophobic, racist bullshit going on in Arizona and other parts of the country. This white girl enjoys the hell out of reading your blog on a regular basis, and has enjoyed sharing your words with others. Keep writing!!!

Cheers! :)

Andre said...

When I first heard about this story, I thought it was from the Onion or some other satire.

Methinks Arizona is trying to make their message abundantly clear: "We don't want no stinkin' darkies or fence jumpers on our land."

stuti goswami said...

this is extremely abominable...and saddening....its a shame that a country with an african-american as its president, problems of d color line r yet to be resolved...

Roderick said...

Andre, it looks as if Arizona has gone all in.

First it was their 'show us your papers' immigration law. Then the ban on ethnic studies, then banning teachers with accents from teaching English to now outright racist verbal assaults against school children.

I overheard one of my coworkers who is from the Dominican tell another this morning that he and his family are going to Las Vegas and then the Grand Canyon next week .

I told him to take his papers and not to speak Spanish once he arrives in Arizona.

Brian said...

There seems to be little effort to hide it least not in the age of Obama.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago... they are trying to send a message in Arizona.

Andre wrote:

Methinks Arizona is trying to make their message abundantly clear: "We don't want no stinkin' darkies or fence jumpers on our land."

I agree. It's ironic of course that dark skinned folks that they despise so much were there first.

Brian said...


Unfortunately, I don't think issues of race & prejudice will be resolved anytime soon.

It may have something to do with the fact that the U.S. is a young nation (relatively speaking). Black Americans have had full rights as citizens for fewer than 50 years.... not a long time historically.

It's the older Americans...those who lived through the 50's & 60's, or who lived in households with racist parents...who tend to have the most trouble accepting Obama and a diverse Country. Luckily... younger Americans don't harbor these same views....and these Americans (under 30) will be the leaders and voters of the future.

Then again... America being a newer nation may not explain it. Because problems related to race are just as bad in some parts of Europe.

I think it will get better with time. But whites (some anyway) feel they are facing a demographic squeeze. Minorities make up about 35% of the U.S. population. The white majority has been declining at a sharp pace, especially in the last 15 years. By approx. 2040 (perhaps sooner) Whites will become the minority (pretty extraordinary). Therefore, they feel as though their nation...their America, their culture, their history is slipping away.


I don't know if I could claim Arizona if it were my home State. I would probably have to adopt another State.

And you are correct... I believe they decided to leave the mural issue alone for now. (but only because of the backlash).

And thanks for reading and commenting.