OK, first off, I live in Prescott and have spoken with some of those directly involved. But if you haven't been following it, this simple Google search link will show you the whole firestorm:
The controversy centers around comments made by one of our city council members. See, a local muralist was commissioned to paint a beautiful mural on one of our schools. The theme was to describe harmony with nature and our cultural heritage and "go green". Or something like that.
Many designs were considered, but one was selected by the students and staff of this public school, and that's what got painted.
The selected design featured the face of one of the students of this school, a little guy who happens to be of Latin-American heritage.
Our counselman, displaying all of the sensitivity that cowboys are known for, publicly asked why in the world we should feature a "black person" in the mural, implying that black persons don't represent our heritage, or what we like to represent as our heritage to tourists.
See, your standard Prescott mural depicts landscapes, people in cowboy hats, and can incorporate Meso-American designs in a nod to our native heritage. But black people, it seems, are not to be part of our official history.
Entrenched "blue-hair" conservatives took this recent mural with it's possibly black-looking-person as an attempt to "shove diversity down our throats". Thence the comments, thence the controversy.
Welcome to the national debate Prescott. Nice job. Why don't we all stand up and get a big hand. Or a big ass-handing in the national media.
Prescott bills itself as "Everybody's Home Town" and we are pretty dependant on tourism. Congeniality and cordiality permeates this town like a beautiful fragrance. Until one of the Lords Of The Council opened their big, fat mouth, obviously incognizant of the fact that things that are said in small towns can get national attention in a heartbeat these days.
At a local, and rather spontaneous rally, those in favour and those against found themselves screaming, yes screaming at each other on our Courthouse Square, the political, economic and cultural center of our town.
This type of thing just doesn't happen here. Or it didn't. Not till now.
So some misconceptions prevail.
1. The "black person", again, is a student of the school and he's not black, he's Hispanic.
2. Public funds were not used to paint it. The mural was funded by local businesses and individuals who "sponsored" it.
3. "Everybody's Home Town" might be interpreted along the lines of "All men" as interpreted by our founding documents, in other words "All white male property owners". Sorry Prescott but you made this bed and now you can sleep in it.
See, IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT THE CHILDREN. Well, kids, better go to your rooms and stay there for a while. The adults are fighting.