I’ve been in New York City a few days, a city who’s lively pulse is fed by the incredible density of people crammed on a small island, so many languages, so many shapes, colors, that you cannot even parse it all. It may not be all peace, love, and harmony, but in the span of a city block, you can easily share the space with ones from 25 different countries, and at least, on the surface, they all respect each others right to be here. It’s just how it is.
But it was shame, embarrassment, and anger I felt walking through two different protests on May Day, seeing the “Boycott Arizona signs”, one in Union Square, one down by the US courthouse, a building enshrined with the epitaphs of the basic human rights that (are supposed to) be our foundation. It was shame, because of the rights people were exercising that seem to be eroding in my home state of Arizona, a place where the state representatives, leaders have taken a position of sanctioning, enacting a law that, to me, tramples on the rights of people living there.
I removed my Phoenix Suns cap. I did not want to be identified with Arizona.
Just off shore, Lady Liberty stands confused, wondering if
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Now bears an asterisk, a clause, that says, “unless you enter the Arizona door.”
The things I love about Arizona are its grandeur
places that feel large, expansive, on scale that dwarfs humanity. I like the open sky and spaces, the gazillion stars in the night skies, the freaky survivalist plants that thrive and flower in water starved deserts. To me, the land is so different, I dance in its weirdness.
I’m not ready to say I want to move from here, because I like my home and local friends (plus the economy of course leaves little choice in mobility).
But I am mad. The governer, our legistlature, has enacted a
knee ass jerk response to a problem that asks for intelligent solutions, not palyground antics. Yes, there are some people who cross the Arizona border and do bad things here (darn that California border!!). But the measures enacted by the nimwits at the state house, instead, puts an antire swath of innocent, law abiding people in fear of being singled out for to “show me your papers”.
That is wrong, and that is not what any framer of the country had in mind, and I would think Lady Liberty is dropping a tear or two.
The “law” says police offices are to ask for papers for people possible suspected of being illegal immigrants, Since they don;t have training materials, I created this little simulation:
I would like someone to try the exercise, and then write a short essay how this task is done without profiling.
IN fact, I want more.
I want our governor, or legislatures who voted on this, to be put before a video camera in a van, driven to a corner on Phoenix,m and indicate who they would ask for paoers, and explain why.
Explain it to me.
Explain it to our state.
Explain it to the world,. for whom now, Arizona, maybe known as the “Grand Canyon State” may now be known as a pathetic joke as the “Grand Police State”.
This is wrong.
Tell them, tell everyone.
There is a window of time, where maybe some sanity can be done, in reversion this shameful act.
This is wrong, and I am ashamed of this place.
The post "Arizona State of Shame" was originally dropped like a smoking hot potato at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2010/05/arizona-state-of-shame/) on May 2, 2010.