FACT CHECK: Arizona Republic Accuses Welsh Coal Miners of Blackface

Embarrassing fake news site, the Arizona Republic, has embarrassed itself once again with the claim that a photo of coal miners is a racist blackface photo.

A few weeks ago, I attended a holiday party at a downtown Phoenix restaurant. I walked around to view the photographs on the wall.

Then a photograph caught my attention.

Friends said, “It’s coal miners at a pub after work.” It was a photograph of coal miners with blackened faces. I asked a Latinx and white woman for their opinion. They said it looked like coal miners at a pub after work. Then they stepped back, frowned and said it’s men in blackface.

I asked the waitress to speak with a manager. Instead, I spoke with a white restaurant owner. I explained to him why the photograph was offensive. Evidently, someone else had made a similar comment about the photograph before.

Yet, the photograph remained on the wall. He said he would talk to the other owners and get back to me. While leaving, I asked him had he spoke with the other owners. He had not spoken with them, but mentioned Google said it's coal miners after work

The photo is actually of Welsh coal miners from a century ago discussing a strike.

Blackface is not even part of Welsh culture. The photo shows the ordinary life of men who worked hard for a living. A concept no one affiliated with the Arizona Republic seems to understand. 

Once upon a time lefties celebrated coal miners, now they've moved from trying to wipe them out as a profession to being incapable of understanding what coal mining even is. When you work with coal, it doesn't just vanish after you leave the mine.

But the Arizona Republic insisted on running this crazy nonsense.

Art can be a trickster. People view artwork once and subsequently see something different.

Viewers cannot determine the intention of an artist’s work. Art also exposes society’s blind spots. Blackface is only a glimpse of a larger issue. The larger issue is the lack of representation of marginalized people and their voices in Phoenix.

There's no "intention" here. It's an actual historical photo of actual people.

At the downtown Phoenix restaurant, my concern that the photograph of men in blackface was a threat to me and my face and voice were ignored.

A business’ photograph of men with blackened faces culturally says to me, “Whites Only.” It says people like me are not welcome.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Arizona Republic. To a fake news outlet, facts are completely irrelevant.


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