Category: immigration

Arizona’s Gone Wild: Officials Want Dark Skin of Child on Grade School Mural Lightened

What’s wrong with this picture?

From AOL News:

An Arizona school mural designed to promote environmentally friendly transportation has ignited a debate about race and censorship of the arts.

Officials at Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Ariz., asked the painters of the mural to lighten the skin of children depicted after a city councilman denounced its prominent portrayal of ethnic minorities. Following protests, the principal apologized today for making the request. "Miller Valley made a mistake when we asked them to lighten the mural. We made a mistake," said Principal Jeff Lane.

The mural shows children walking and cycling in a garden-like scene, with birds flying around them.

"We don’t have a racist town," R.E. Wall, who painted the "Go on Green" mural, told AOL News. "I believe we have racist city council."

City Councilman Steve Blair, who says he "can’t stand" the word "diversity," criticized the mural on his talk-radio show. He particularly targeted the portrayal of the painting’s main figure, a dark-skinned boy in blue jeans and green sweatshirt.

"To depict the biggest picture on that building as a black person, I would have to ask the question, ‘Why?’" Blair said on a May 21 broadcast, according to The Daily Courier.

The child in question is meant to be a Mexican-American, Wall told AOL News.

When the Courier published an article online about the unveiling of the mural, readers left comments describing the painting as "tacky," "ghetto" and "ugly." On his radio show, Blair said that he had spoken to locals who are offended by the mural and call it "graffiti."

Welcome to post-racist America. Yes, we’re beyond all that, of course.

Consider for a moment what this kind of ugly rhetoric is doing to children in Arizona. How will the brown-skinned kids be treated now by their lighter-skinned peers?

Jane Elliott, what would you charge to give the entire state of Arizona a Blue Eyes Brown Eyes exercise?

Dios Mio! Arizona Superintendent Out to Get Teachers with Accents

No kidding. Arizona superintendent Tom Horne is on the lookout for teachers who pronounce "comma" as "COH-ma."

Oy. Vey.

From Think Progress:

Late last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Arizona Department of Education “recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English it deems to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes for students still learning English”:

State education officials say the move is intended to ensure that students with limited English have teachers who speak the language flawlessly. But some school principals and administrators say the department is imposing arbitrary fluency standards that could undermine students by thinning the ranks of experienced educators. […]

This is just one more indication of the incredible anti-immigrant sentiment in the state,” said Bruce Merrill, a professor emeritus at Arizona State University who conducts public-opinion research.

At one school, for example, state auditors complained that teachers pronounced “words such as violet as ‘biolet,’ think as ‘tink’ and swallow the ending sounds of words, as they sometimes do in Spanish.” The principal at that school acknowledged that teachers “should speak grammatically correct English” but said they shouldn’t be punished for having an accent.

The man in charge of this project, far-right Arizona superintendent Tom Horne — who is running for attorney general — has been going on national media in recent days to defend his policies.

What would he do if he wandered into a Latin Mass? Arrest the priest?

More here.