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Dipsh*t Wingnut Parents Think High School Girl's Awesome Mural Full Of SATAN And GAY
The stupidest timeline delivers again.
A mural in a middle school's teen health center in Grant, Michigan, has set off the rightwing crazies after parents decided it's full of LGBTQ+ "indoctrination" and also literal SATANISM, because that's what rightwing crazies are required to freak out about, forever. The mural, reproduced above, was designed by a local high school sophomore who has oodles of talent and never deserved to be the target of some insane accusations from people whose goal in life is to be loudly offended.
The mural features a bunch of happy goofy multi-ethnic anime-influenced characters, including a couple of masked superheroes in capes (one wears a hijab, which somehow nobody appears to have freaked out about?), animal characters in nurses' outfits, with syringes, and a bunch of small doodles depicting stars, mushrooms, Hello Kitty, Pomupomupurin (the doggie in the beret), and other images.
The complaints focus primarily on two of the main figures and some of the marginalia. There's a kid wearing a T-shirt with the pink, blue, and white stripes of the transgender flag, and another kid in rainbow tights and overall shorts, with an outrageously gay rainbow on her chest, and she's linked arms with another girl (maybe — who even knows these days!), so they are clearly on the Lesbian Train to Hell.
Then there's all the "witchcraft" and "Satanism" in the line-drawing doodles, which include a scary demon from a video game, which has to be Satan Himself no matter what the artist says. We're with the kid — it looks far more like a Japanese Oni ogre mask, what with the extra fangs and horns, than a traditional Western depiction of the Father of Lies. Still a demon. (Gaming blog Kotaku identifies the image as coming from the game "Genshin Impact.") Also, why is nobody losing their shit over the obvious drawing of Hatsune Miku, who is a pop idol despite not actually existing?
The parents were especially upset by another bit of marginalia, a "hamsa hand," which NPR helpfully explains "is considered a symbol for the hand of God in many cultures." But it looked exactly like witchcraft to panicked parents who are absolutely sure that any mention of magic will invite the devil into your home.
This despite the fact that even though Dungeons and Dragons has been around since the '70s, there are no documented cases of anyone successfully casting "Guise of the Yak-Man" in real life, to say nothing of something useful like Magic Missile.
We included the kittypillar and the frog dude in case readers care to speculate what's demonic about them, too.
Parents who came to fulminate at an October 10 school board meeting saw nothing but the most malign motives in the cheerful painting, because isn't everything in the public schools terrifying and communist and satanic these days? One parent objected, regarding the trans flag image,
"When adults pretend things that are like real life, it's a mental illness," says Danielle Beight. "We need counselors, we need medication that's going to help bipolar disorder, fix their brains.
How true this is. No one should be allowed to give trans kids gender-affirming care; instead, we should force antipsychotics into their veins since gender nonconforming people are imaginary.
Another parent complained that the mural was "discrimination" against Christianity, although the mural is remarkably free of any depictions of scenes from a Chick Tract. Nate Thompson bravely insisted that "We and our administration should embrace that and get all of this hate material out of our schools, because it is hate material."
NPR notes that the young artist tried to explain that the adults were worrying over nothing:
"I put my artwork up there to make people feel welcomed," she said in a quivering voice.
Responding to adults' accusations that she schemed to include sinister images, she said, "That's not what I'm a part of. That's not what I'm trying to put out there."
The student explained that the so-called Satan mask is a character from a video game and that the painted hand is a Latino symbol of protection. She eventually left the meeting in tears.
After the poor girl left, an allegedly adult grown up woman stood up to declare the young woman a filthy liar, insisting, "I feel that she did a really good job finding excuses to defend the things she put on. None of us are that stupid."
We regret that everyone in the room didn't just stare at her and ask her to listen to herself. Still, in today's postmodern world, maybe we shouldn't give any credit to an artist's alleged intent, what with the death of the author and all that.
Another student, who identifies as queer and is a friend of the artist, said they've been bullied because of that. They spoke up in defense of the mural, saying it made them feel included, suggesting to parents, "Maybe you should be more concerned with your children's behaviors instead of what art is on the wall."
We'd like to think that kid's words shamed them all into silence, but more likely it convinced them of the mural's danger: It made the kid who needs to be drugged back into straightness feel welcome, didn't it?.
At least one adult in the room took a dim view of her peers:
"I am a conservative, right-wing, gun-loving American," says Tracy Hargreaves. "But I've never seen more bigoted people in my life."
She wants to see more acceptance in her community.
"We have an array of people in this little town," says Hargreaves. "And I'll be the first one to support our Christian families. But we're not the only ones here."
As of yet, we haven't seen any reports of Ms. Hargreaves being SWATted by righteous Christians, so that's good.
Eventually, the school reached a "compromise" that left the art in place — kind of. Since the line drawings weren't included in the original proposal the girl submitted, they'll be painted over, eliminating the oni and the hamsa hand, as well as the cute little froggy dude and other whimsical drawings, and everyone will be happy, OK?
Local TV station WZZM reports that the artist's parents "fear for their daughter's safety in the community" following the school board meeting, according to a friend of the family.
So clearly, a lesson has been learned: Flowers are red. Color inside the lines, and even then people will think you need psychatric treatment. That poor kid.
Bonus content: Stephen reminded us in the chat cave that there was a D&D cartoon, and by golly here's the theme song:
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