“This is a battle of epic proportions; we’ve allowed the hijacking of the 14th Amendment.”
Senator Russell Pearce of Arizona; described as the architect of Arizona Bill SB 1070.
A cabal of Arizona lawmakers is (again) planning to rewrite the Constitution of the United States. They plan to pass legislation so that children born in the US to parents who are in the US illegally will not be granted citizenship. This to me represents another salvo in the long history of insidious prejudice by Arizona’s leaders and the people of Arizona.
Some may say it’s nothing more than petty politicians trying to make a name for themselves by pandering to the prejudices of a small segment of the society. I say these are the politicians that the majority of the people elected and they are pushing the people’s agenda.
This is the same state, Arizona, which 30 years ago refused to honor Martin Luther King’s Day as a holiday. That position at the time was championed by none other than that self-proclaimed maverick, John McCain. He eventually reversed himself on that issue, but as the most strident (at the time) national opponent to a holiday honoring Dr. King, Arizona had clearly and unequivocally drawn a line in the sand. This is also the same state where in 2010 they proposed having police officers ask and check people’s immigration status at traffic stops. The starkly racist nature of all of these thingss are blindingly obvious, and echoes back to Jim Crow. The relationship between these things should be clear. This isn’t an anti-illegal immigration issue; this is the people of a state trying to push their own twisted agenda on the national stage. The explanations they provide behind this may sound logical and even necessary but the racist ideals and prejudicial application of this initiative cannot be denied.
However you may feel about the issue of illegal immigration, this legislation is wrong and nothing good can ever come out of it being passed into law. The reports that other states are considering adopting similar rules should sound a rallying cry to people everywhere. This legislation, in essence, boils down into one crystallizing thought the epitome of the Tea Party/Republican/Conservative agenda: America for WASPS. This is clear and unambiguous.
Also bear in mind again that this is the same place where less than two months ago a lunatic with a gun killed several people including a Congresswoman because he had a different political opinion. Some may say its unfair of me to paint such a broad brush stroke on the entire state, but the rhetoric is clear and consistent and seemingly unopposed in Arizona.
30 years ago it took systematic agitation by African-American public figures and boycott of Arizona venues by black performers (including moving the Super Bowl) for Arizona to finally recognize the holiday. I think an even greater movement will be needed to push back the agenda of this generation of publicly appointed hate-mongers.
Clearly hypocrisy and racism is still a major part of life in the Grand Canyon state.