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Thread: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

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    Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Altered mural fuels racial debate in 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.
    The "Go on Green" mural, which covers two walls outside Miller Valley Elementary School, was designed to advertise a campaign for environmentally friendly transportation. It 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?"
    Blair could not be reached for comment Thursday. In audio archives of his radio show, Blair discusses the mural. He insists the controversy isn't about racism but says the mural is intended to create racial controversy where none existed before.
    "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."
    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. Wall said thousands of town residents volunteered or donated to the project, the fourth in a series of community murals painted by a group of artists known as the "Mural Mice."
    The public art, funded by a $5,000 state grant through the Prescott Alternative Transportation Center, was selected by school students and faculty.
    "The parents and children love it," Lane said

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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Are you honestly surprised?
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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Hahaha, ok ok I can end any kind of debate over this before it even starts. I lived in Prescott Arizona for the last 4 years, I've been going to college there since 2006. I've driven by this thing and let me tell you it looks weird as hell from the street, and honestly the kids face was too dark because of the shade over the upper part of the painting and the kid's very bright eyes. So when you drove past it would kinda look like two bright eyes coming out of a very dark and almost "evil" looking face, it also kind of looked like "blackface," either way it honestly looked weird as hell and just seemed like bad art.

    As for the people shouting racial slurs, well I could see that happening among some of those individuals. Prescott, and nearby Prescott Valley and Chino, have some serious red-neckitude among some individuals.
    Last edited by Wiseone; 06-05-10 at 09:25 AM.

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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    As for the people shouting racial slurs, well I could see that happening among some of those individuals. Prescott, and nearby Prescott Valley and Chino, have some serious red-neckitude among some individuals.
    That's the ticket!
    Fight racial slander with more racial slander!

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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    That's the ticket!
    Fight racial slander with more racial slander!

    Rednecks are a race?

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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Rednecks are a race?
    And niggers are a race?
    No - it's a racial slur for black people.

    Red-Neck is a racial slur for white people. Same with cracker and honky.
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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    And niggers are a race?
    No - it's a racial slur for black people.

    Red-Neck is a racial slur for white people. Same with cracker and honky.
    Theres a difference though. Redneck is a subculture and those other epithets are more directed generally towards a race.

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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Theres a difference though. Redneck is a subculture and those other epithets are more directed generally towards a race.
    Subculture of what? White Racists? Small white southern town inhabitants?

    I've been called a redneck simply because I live in a small town in the south - I've never uttered a racist comment in my life or harbored a racist thought. . . .and I don't like it just as much as I don't like it when others use the term 'wetback' to describe the supposed 'subculture' of people who came here illegally.

    The truth of the matter is that 'red-neck' like all other racial slurs, is based on race. You might not see it that way but a lot of other people do see it that way and use it as such.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 06-05-10 at 10:47 AM.
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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    I was watching the History Channel the other night and saw a program called, 'Hillbilly, The Real Story.'

    In it, they claimed the term redneck came from West Virginia unionized coal miners going up against the coal company 'enforcers' wearing red handkerchiefs around their necks to identify themselves

    Other theories:

    ...working class having a red neck caused by working outdoors in the sunlight

    ...originating in 17th century Virginia, when indentured servants were sunburnt while tending plantation crops

    ...from Scotland signing documents - in blood - stating that Scotland desired a Presbyterian Church Government, and rejected the Church of England as their official church. Many began wearing red pieces of cloth around their neck to signify their stance. Some of these Scots immigrated to the southern U.S., eventually evolving into southern rednecks.
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    Re: Altered mural fuels racial debate in Prescott

    Yeah "red neck" is a word referring to, typically, ignorant southern racist poor white people. I'm not sure calling it a "racial slur" is accurate.
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