Sunday, June 6, 2010

Roger Ebert's Essay on the Arizona School Mural

There's no way to articulate this better than the way Roger Ebert does is this essay.

That brings me back around to the story of the school mural. I began up above by imagining I was a student in Prescott, Arizona, with my face being painted over. That was easy for me. What I cannot imagine is what it would be like to be one of those people driving past in their cars day after day and screaming hateful things out of the window. How do you get to that place in your life? Were you raised as a racist, or become one on your own? Yes, there was racism involved as my mother let the driver wait outside in the car, but my mother had not evolved past that point at that time. The hard-won social struggles of the 1960s and before have fundamentally altered the feelings most of us breathe, and we have evolved, and that is how America will survive. We are all in this together.

But what about the people in those cars? They don't breathe that air. They don't think of the feelings of the kids on the mural. They don't like those kids in the school. It's not as if they have reasons. They simply hate. Why would they do that? What have they shut down inside? Why do they resent the rights of others? Our rights must come first before our fears. And our rights are their rights, whoever "they" are.

How do they get to be that way?

1 comment:

  1. I am the former Mayor of Prescott Arizona and I have called for the resignation of City Councilman Steve Blair because of his racist remarks. See my blog post at

    Steve, if you truly love Prescott you need to resign

    See our group Facebook page
    Calling for the Resignation of Steve Blair, Prescott, AZ City Councilman


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