Arizona City Councilman, on School Mural: "To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?"


Well, here's an ugly story:

A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school. […]

[The mural] 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."

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.

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?" […]

Faces in the mural were drawn from photographs of children enrolled at Miller Valley, a K-5 school with 380 students and the highest ethnic mix of any school in Prescott.

Link via Wonkette.

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  1. “Mistakenly complained”?

    1. He complained the child was african-american. The child was not.

      Or maybe he really did mistakenly complain. Happens to me a lot when I’m drunk.

      1. What if the artist had painted topless transgender men on a Delaware beach?

        1. Just so we’re clear, this is a purely hypothetical situation?

          Do you mean it was a beach scene, or was literally painted with the beach itelf as a canvas?

        2. What the hell is going on in Delaware?

  2. “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).”

    No, you didn’t.

    1. I bet people spat on them from their cars too.

      1. Spat from orbit?

        1. “And their car’s horns, their horns had racist tones to them. The C# emitted from that Miata that one day clearly intoned ‘wetback’.”

          1. Duh, the horn plays la cucaracha

    2. I myself frequently yell “kike!” and “hebe!” at people painting murals as I’m driving, so this is definitely plausible.

      1. I usually confine myself to comments on their lack of ability and talent. I find “You suck” is particularly appropriate, mainly because “Your complete lack of artistic ability is overshadowed only by your lack of personal hygiene” means I’m driving way too slow.

        1. I prefer a Dopplerized “Asshole!” per Kevin Kline’s Otto character.

          1. Apes don’t read philosophy.

            1. That’s one of my favorite comedic film moments.

              1. Oh, and “Yes they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”

                1. That’s the best scene in the movie.

                  Mostly because there are real people who are exactly like that.

                2. Now let me correct you on a few things

    3. Consistently = maybe twice, and the second time I couldn’t really tell for sure because I was listening to my iPod

    4. You were there I suppose, so you can be sure about that?

      1. He doesnt have to be sure. He knows that we live in a post racial america.

        And anyway, the only real racists out there are lefties.

        1. Um…+1?

    5. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had two or three drive-bys a day who would say something like that. People act fucked up when they know there aren’t consequences.

  3. And yet if we call such politicians unintelligent, they accuse us of personal attacks.

  4. “To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?”

    Why not, you piece of mouth breathing shit eating racist?

    1. Because there are no black people in Prescott.

      1. The images of the children were based on photos of children who attended a local school.

        1. And they just happened to use photos of the sole black kid and the sole hispanic kid in town. That’s racist.

          1. And they just happened to use photos of the sole black kid and the sole hispanic kid in town. That’s racist.

            Im not sure if you are being sarcastic or not but…

            Faces in the mural were drawn from photographs of children enrolled at Miller Valley, a K-5 school with 380 students and the highest ethnic mix of any school in Prescott.

            1. “the highest ethnic mix of any school in Prescott.”

              Yeah, like he said. One black kid, one Mexican.

              The question *I* would ask is not why those children were chosen for the mural, but why anybody is painting one in the first place.

              Where I live, we fine kids who paint stuff on public walls and buildings.

            2. what the fuck is a high ethnic mix?

              The town is 93% white.

              1. That’s not counting the very high Amerindian population. Oh, but they don’t count because we rounded them up and put them in to reservations just outside of town…

              2. That probably includes some Hispanics. Plus, if a town is 8% Hispanic, it’s fair to assume that the children are probably 10-15% Hispanic. But even if it is only 8, if there are 500 kids at the school, that means that there are 40 Hispanics.

      2. Jeezus, did they pass another law that I didn’t hear about?

  5. A mural depicting happy children. This can’t be a good neighborhood.

    My rule of thumb: The more and expansive the number of happy, child-like murals, the more dangerous the neighborhood.

    1. Is this like Chris Rock’s rule about Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard?

    2. True. Pompeii had murals, and look what happened.

    3. It’s not a neighborhood, it’s Prescott. It’s not big enough to have neighborhoods.

  6. Virginia would’ve mentioned a successful launch of Falcon 9 by now, that’s for sure. [Pouts petulantly and turns the dial to Transterrestrial Musings.]

    1. Drink your own piss!

    2. Stop whining, or I’ll give you something to really whine about.

      1. Go lick Shannon Tweed with your enormous tongue, dude.

          1. That injured my soul, man.

            1. Speaking of bringing Kirk back from the dead, I’d do it with Gary Mitchell. A friggin’ rock on the noggin wouldn’t have really killed a guy with godlike powers, right?

              After a few decades of getting used to being a god, he’d have calmed down and remembered his old buddy, Jim Kirk. Deciding to look Jim up, he found his corpse. Being a god, he brings Kirk back from the dead and takes him and Spock out for some Saurian brandy and Orion tail.

              The end.

            2. I told you to stop whining. Believe me, that hurt you way more than it hurt me.

              1. Yeah, I haven’t forgotten your heresy over fake Trek. You probably liked Marky Mark and the Apes, too.

              2. By the way, in the other important thread, I mentioned two films where Gene Simmons–or you, depending on how interesting reality chooses to be today–was a bad guy. I actually liked both. Thoughts?

                1. Meh. I saw Runaway about 1000 times because they played it 5 times a day on HBO. Not so great; try going back and watching it again, and you’ll see.

                  1. It has been awhile. I don’t remember loving it, but I thought it was entertaining when it first came out. On TV, that is.

  7. So I guess this is the point where Reason takes a page from the Lefty playbook and uses inane local stories to paint Arizona as a racist hell-hole.

    Oh noes! Trouble at the ol’ town mural!!! Well shit, that changes everything about immigration reform.

    Maybe we can see more of Ayn Rand and Drew Carey, cause’ those two certainly have no dicey personal history, unlike those miserable Arizonians.

    1. Ouch! You really zinged ’em! See, you did that by taking the kind of story that Reason might blog about if it happened anywhere and then claiming that it was about immigration so that you could say that it didn’t prove that Arizona’s anti-immigrant law was racist. Good one!

      1. This KingTaco fella is quite crafty!

        I need to steal his tricks

      2. omz! total zinger!

        1. Your post is lame on multiple levels, KingTaco.

          1. But still not as lame as any post by Pink Cosmotarian

      3. You got me. I’m sure Reason would be all over the story of a $5,000 school mural painted by two aging hippies with a ‘diversity’ kick, who claim that some random people shouted some insults maybe, and the jerky comments of some red-neck councilman. What a barn-burner! If that happened in North Dakota I’m sure it would be posted as well. Militarized police, massive debt, and hippies vs. rednecks over a $5,000 school mural. Those things are all obviously all the same scale. The fact this is an Arizona story has nothing whatsoever to do with the stream of critcism from Reason over Arizona’s immigration situation, no sir.

  8. “Raaaaacist!!”

  9. It could have been worse. There might have been an exposed booby.

    1. There might have been an exposed booby mooby.

      There should be a law.

      1. exposed mooby

        Please don’t give Chuck Shumer any ideas. You know how much that son of a bitch likes the camera. I would really hate to see him have a “wardrobe malfunction”.

        1. Thank you for ensuring I will never eat again.

      2. what is a mooby?

        1. Portmanteau of “man booby”.

  10. “To depict the biggest picture on the building as a Black person, I would have to ask the question: Why?” […]


    The mural was painted with slave labor.


    1. Ha ha ha, you’re wrong for that! 🙂

  11. In related news, in order to atone for years of politically insensitive crayon colors, the Crayola company has announced that it will start producing “Honky White” this fall.

  12. Bud Parker, William Johnston, you are charged with the desecration of a public building, and with the use of prohibited paint colors in violation of the Pleasantville Code of Conduct and laws of common decency. Do you admit that on the night of May 5 you did willfully and consciously apply the following forbidden colors to the north wall of the Pleasantville police station: red, pink, puce, vermillion, chartreuse, blue, aqua, oxblood, green, peach, crimson, yellow, olive, and magenta? Do you further admit that this unnatural depiction occurred in full public view, where it was accessible to and in plain sight of minor children?

  13. Here are more pictures of the mural:…..ionID=1212

    1. The depiction of a raccoon is obviously racist code.

    2. Did anybody notice that all of the people in the photos were honkeys?

      1. If Chairman Mao were still alive he’d be pleased to note that the mural looks like a gigantic Peoples Propaganda Poster from the 1960’s.

        However the Chairman would be less than pleased with the girl wearing the dead animal on her head. She would have earned a free trip to the nearest reeducation camp…

    3. Looks pretty fleet-footed, eh?

    4. The single absolute lowest form of art known to man:

      A.) Editorial cartoons

      B.) “________’s Got Talent”

      C.) Public murals


      1. Murals

  14. Gee, apparently there are some people out there who aren’t totally gaga over living in one nice, big multi-culti family! Whoda thunk it?

      1. The point is that when your public policy is geared to doing things known to piss people off, and they do in fact get pissed off, it ain’t exactly a surprise.

        Well, at least it’s not a surprise to most of us. Maybe cosmotarians are special.

        1. OK? Someone somewhere is pissed off about anything and everything you can do, but not everything people get pissed off about is worth being pissed about. If people get this pissed over a mural, I wonder how sensitive they really are.

          1. And how was this policy geared toward pissing people off?

  15. I’m totally digging the bbw ads.

    Long live context-sensitive ads!

  16. It’s a public mural. You’re supposed to look at it, say “Well, that’s crap” and then go on with your life. There’s absolutely no reason to get excited about it.

  17. Unable to make a coherent argument for the elimination of the nations borders, the white boys at Reason have been reduced to smearing their opponents as “racist” by anecdote. Pathetic.

    1. This post says more about you than about Reason.

  18. Racial nonsense aside, Arizona taxpayers paid $5,000 for that ugly piece of eco-agitprop. I think they deserve to get their money back.

    1. It is a piece of communist bullshit, and a fine waste of tax dollars. I bet the Councilman proposed the school mural.

  19. Public art deserves all the scorn it gets.

  20. JFC, so Arizona taxpayers are not only paying for some weak-ass McDiegoRivera POS mural, but they’re paying to have it “lightened” so the kids in it will look perkier?

    Does Arizona have school levies? I recommend voting them all down from now on. Actually I recommend voting school levies down no matter what, no matter where. But in this case, it seems clear this district gots plenty o’ money already.

  21. There is not enough Internet for pointless stories like this, reason!

    Painting anyone but whites is what’s racist because it acknowledges the concept of race.

    1. racist because it acknowledges the concept of race.

      Tony is being racist!

  22. Look, there’s a lot of silly political correctness in America. That doesn’t mean there still isn’t some genuine, nasty racism going on.

  23. I hate this kind of crap.

    Look, no one ever yelled a “racial epithet” at you. Because the only real racists are the liberals and jesse jacksons on your side.

    Sorry you’re not white. If you want to get over it, you could start by contributing something to real society.

  24. My hometown is Phoenix and had I known this story originated in the AZ Republic I wouldn’t have wasted my time reading it. There was a time when I was much younger and the paper was a somewhat unbiased legitimate news source, maybe 40 years ago. That’s hardly the case today and hasn’t been for a very long time.

    Interesting that Reason would use a source that may as well be belong to the propaganda wing of Socialist International as the basis for a story on a libertarian site. Past propaganda value this particular story is absolutely pointless since there is absolutely no way to confirm it.

    I could call friends in Prescott who are Blacks, Hispanics, and Amer-Indians, as well as Whites and get their opinions, but what would be the point, I talk to many of them on a regular basis and none have ever complained. You’d think in a town where yelling of racial slurs was “consistently” practiced that would be the case. My Amer-Indian wife, our three daughters and I lived there for a little over two years and never had any problems either.

    Well, there’s no such thing as an experience that has no value. It’s always been my belief it’s impossible to know anything with absolute certainty so skepticism should always be the rule. When it comes information we can’t even trust our own senses but the value of that information gained by personal observation can always be trusted over that given to us by others. I have a habit of slowly forgetting that lesson until something comes along to remind of it.

    So it’s all good. This latest Arizona thing came along about the right time. Little hard for me to be misled on this one, I was born in Arizona and lived there over half a century. One by one the dozen or so sources of information I was beginning to trust a little too much “consistently” revealed themselves to be as fallible as any other.

  25. There are probably more Amerindians in the Prescott area than there are Latinos. Assuming that someone with darker than Northern-European skin tone has to be either a Dego or a Spic is Shitfuckcuntpisstits stupid.


    Some nice audio from Steve Blair’s radio show including the now famous:

    “I am not a racist but………,” line as well as a conversation with fellow councilman John Hanna’s wife Sherry.

  27. Racist people should not be allowed to walk among society. They should be treated with cold contempt.

  28. I used to live in Prescott, and I read the article several times. It seems to push the racial angle more than is warranted.

    First of all, I promise you that Prescott is not some completely backwards racist town.

    Mr. Blair’s comments (I have heard at least 2) are reprehensible. He has since been fired from his radio gig.

    However, the principal said that he wanted some more sunshine on the kids so that it would look better. He did say that after Mr. Blair’s radio comments. This is not a solid example of racism. He didn’t say to change the kid to white. Granted, he is not an artist, so I can’t know whether or not it was a good call.

  29. You guys are pronouncing it wrong.

  30. if the Mexican government does nothing to change the policies of arizona is necessary to act on our own ..
    I invite my colleagues who live near the borders that justice is regrettable that the lost young man who was killed by those dogs gringos but I’m willing to hunt down one of those of the Patru frontrizas and hit a shot to see the fucking U.S. government what it feels like …
    I invite you to put together our rules for those damn Americans shit … I will kill everything that race …. bad hunter gringos atte …

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