Maybe that's what Arizona needs - to be thrown out of the US.
In the eighties through the early nineties they made a ruckus for being holdouts on celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Public Enemy notably produced a gubercidal fantasy song and the NFL (about as conservative a major business as it gets) moved its 27th Super Bowl from Tempe to the Rose Bowl in response to the state's opposition to the Civil Right icon's memory.
And now the state's legislators have brought up another couple of dark kettles. First is this state bill to effectively criminalize being brown without carrying proper ID (whatever the heck that may mean. Is a driver's license good enough?) and authorize unwarranted searches. Stephen Colbert - bless his heart - had an excellent word about that the other day and it is worth a view (or a few).
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|The Word - No Problemo|
And then Senator John McCain (partially known for his flip-flop on MLK day. That is, after he vigorously opposed it throughout the eighties and then found that position to be political suicide) appears on the "O'Reilly Factor" last week to make Bill O seem reasonable and rational. That's some work for a previously respected senator/presidential front-runner. He not only sided with Arizona's state's rights (which, for better or worse, I tend to associate with the Civil Rights backlash and the Southern Strategy) over ineffective immigration laws (which need comprehensive reform, sure enough. The current policies are damaging to immigrants, their families, our economy and all involved) but then added this bizarre but telling comment that immigrants are blatantly responsible for causing crashes on the highways.
McCain, however, is trying to out-Maverick his Tea Party rival. Tells you how crazy the state's politics is getting in that they're basically tied at the moment. But even more crazy is the fact that the Birthers are taking over. The racist movement that questions the birth place and citizenship of a dark-skinned president (despite all the evidence to the contrary) is now asking Arizona (as it tried to gain momentum in frighteningly xenophobic states like Florida and Oklahoma) to require a birth certificate from all presidential runners in order to be on a ballot within the state. And this bill has passed the state House already. (Again, who defines whether or not a form fills the requirement of a birth certificate? Birthers constantly vex the state of Hawaii with requests to see Obama's REAL bc, besides the fact that it's ALL OVER THE INTERNET.)
The ironic thing, of course, is that Arizona's favorite son McCain won't even be able to run for president again. Cuz, you know, he was born in Panama.
I wish the great state of Arizona's legislators (and the nutjobs who keep voting these racist a$hats in) would learn a lesson from Albi, and just stop being so racist.*
Of course the video and the song - unlike the legislation proposed - are a joke. Racism in this country, much like sexism the world-over, is an inherent trait of our legacy in the US, and we are all slaves to the system. Nobody wants the slightest association with the word 'racism' because they feel it only and solely means that a person is going out and threatening and killing people based on their skin color. They don't realize that racism is truly a system that is so ingrained within us that a member of the powerful majority cannot just turn it on or off - not without severe work, listening and understanding. Therefore, those who do support the racist system (say, birthers and those who argue against the rights of so-called 'illegals') are offended by the slightest suggestion that they support a racist system. They may not personally be bad people, but they play a part in propagating a - literally - deadly way of life.
However, there is much to be clarified on this issue and I would like to start a series on it soon