UPDATE: The mural is being restored to its “original theme.” Jeff Lane, the principal of Miller Valley Elementary School, and Kevin Kapp, the school superintendent, showed up at a protest to apologize for siding with racial critics.
WATCH THE APOLOGY OF THE PRESCOTT SCHOOL OFFICIALS
A mural painted on the side of Miller Valley Elementary School in Prescott, Arizona was intended to get viewers to think about children getting to school safely. But artist, E. Wall, was commissioned to paint it. He says the mural provoked a very different response.
“It was recommended that we have the diversity of the children.”
Wall says the comments were made in the presence of children, who were there to help him paint.
”’Get that n***** off the wall’ was one of them that kept on coming back up. Get the spic off the wall,’” Wall said.
He blames Prescott city councilman Steve Blair, who is also the host of a local radio talk show (he has since been fired) for promoting what wall considers hate.
“This racial card gets played a lot,” Blair said.
Blair says he’s unfairly being labeled a racist when he says it’s only the location of the mural he objects to and not the content.
“To me, on a historic, rock building in downtown Prescott; I did not think it was appropriate.”
But, the artist doesn’t buy it.
“It’s ironic that during his time on the radio, it was always during his time, that these slanderous statements were coming at us,” Wall said.
Wall says he will reluctantly lighten the skin tone of the central figure in the painting at the request of school officials. (Story has been updated)