My apologies. The General started this post, but his inner Frenchman punched him hard in the mouth, grabbed the keyboard, and told him he'd tell that story about goat, the Crisco, and the little plastic army men if the General did not take the night off.
I emailed the following letter to these Prescott City Councilmembers:
Mary Ann Suttles
I hope you consider sending them an email as well.
Do you remember how you felt when you received a part in your 4th grade class play or music production, or were selected to be a crossing guard or safety monitor, or simply received a "good citizenship" certificate? It made you feel special and valued as an individual.
I'm sure that's how that black kid felt when he was chosen to be a model for the mural at Miller Valley Elementary. No doubt his face radiated with pride and happiness as he showed the mural to his family. It's easy to imagine the huge toothy grin he surely had on his face. It may have been the high point of his young life. Those kinds of things are so important to kids.
Then, your colleague, Steve Blair, stepped up to deliver a lesson in reality. Black kids shouldn't be featured on murals in Prescott schools, he seemed to argue, because they're not real Prescottians; they're not real Arizonans; they're not real Americans.
The young black child must have heard about the controversy . It was all over the news. It was about his school. It was about his mural. How could he have avoided hearing about it?
How do you think he felt? How would you feel?
And then, the principal, Jeff Lane, ordered the artist to lighten the black kid's face. Can you imagine how something like that would affect you at such a young age? Think about it. His principal was telling him that his skin tone made him less desirable, less acceptable, than his white classmates.
No doubt it crushed him. It crushed his young soul before it had a chance to bloom. He will eventually rebound, but it will still be something he'll live with the rest of his life--something lying in wait in the recesses of his psyche, waiting for that moment of self-doubt when it can return to shred his confidence and plunder his self esteem.
Councilman Blair's actions abused that child. He raped that young man's psyche.
But that boy is not his only victim. Blair also assaulted the Hispanic citizens of your city when he ran a contest on his radio show to rename them--the winning choice, his choice, was "taco flippers."
Why haven't you stepped forward with a resolution demanding the removal of this human tumor from your council? What's your excuse?
Councilmember Linn, you claim to care about character. You sign your correspondence with the words "In good character." You sit on the National Leadership Council of "CHARACTER COUNTS!" You chair Arizona's Blue Ribbon Commission on Character Education. You taught kids about character at the local high school.
What is your silence teaching them now? What lessons are they learning from your demonstration of character?
It's time to do the right thing. Will you?
In good character,