So, the blog Wonkette recently opined on Prescott, Az. city councilman Steve Blair who used AM talk radio show to advocate for the removal of a black child’s face from a downtown mural. Arizona isn’t exactly considered a bastion of racial tolerance right now, what with the passage of SB 1070, a stringent law many (myself included) would argue only legalizes racial profiling of Hispanics. But the case of the mural, which was drawn from the photographs of actual children enrolled at the nearby, racially-diverse Miller Valley School, is especially egregious. Blair’s call for the removal of an African-American child figured prominently in the mural was met with a wave of Waspian support, with even the school’s principal pressuring the artists behind the mural to lighten — a.k.a. whiten – the faces of children depicted (the principal has since backed down). And this is just the latest insult — the children who worked alongside the artists were repeatedly subjected to drive-by racial slurs and epithets during the months-long project. Read more on this affront to decency here.
Wonkette, like so many others, was naturally outraged by the blatant racism, as was radio channel KYCA, who promptly and appropriately fired Blair from his radio show (he still remains a city councilman). In an blog update about the firing, Wonkette had this to say about Blair:
HE SHOULD BE DUMPED IN A CESSPOOL FILLED WITH BOILING BP CRUDE, etc.
But whatever, look at this fat fucking hunchbacked pig, and pity him if you have that kind of generous soul.
Not to take attention away from this horrible display of racism, but is anyone else struck by the inherent hypocrisy of Wonkette replacing one form of -ism — racism — with yet another form of -ism — sizeism? There are plenty of slurs with which to hurl Blair’s way — racist, bigot, uninformed, xenophobic and spineless, ignorant twit, to name just a few — but commentary on his size and appearance should not be among them. Not only are these remarks entirely irrelevant to Blair’s speech and actions, such comments, in fact, only perpetuates the exploitive hegemonies and ideology of domination that buttresses all forms of discrimination. As Shirley Chisholm once said, “In the end antiblack, antifemale, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing – antihumanism.”