Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Mural Controversy Raises Questions of Racism.

Byline: Diana Heil Journal Staff Report

* Committee's plan to cover artwork with acoustic panels leads some to question its motives

Cesar Chavez Community School children hold their hands over their ears to shut out the noise in the cafeteria. Some beg their teachers to eat in the classroom instead.

Student performances on the room's stage fall on deaf ears, literally, because the accoustics are so poor.

Yet a few citizens wonder if the proposed solution to the acknowledged problem is about protecting hearing, or instead reflects intolerance for Chicanos, immigrants and Christianity.

The Santa Fe public elementary school's site planning committee has proposed covering three walls of the multi-use cafeteria, including a mural, with acoustic panels to reduce the noise. The mural is a tribute to the late Mexican-American labor leader for whom the school is named, and includes an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, at least eight crosses, figureheads and Aztec serpents. …

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