Friday, April 30, 2010

Arizona Roundup: New Law Quickly Becoming Nightmarish

Photo by A.C. Huestis. Click for bigger.

Let's look at some predictable happenings roundup style:

  • From the Washington Post: The day after the Arizona legislature approved the bill, the police headquarters was flooded with phone calls. A typical complaint, according to [Tucson Police Chief] VillaseƱor, was this: "Hey, there are some Mexicans standing on the corner? You need to check them out."
  • Also from the Post, the first of many, many lawsuits to come.
  • The Associated Press reports that the new law has already aroused the ire of local gal Linda Ronstadt.
  • The Los Angeles Times reveals that this is going to be a big mess for major league baseball, which I've heard sometimes employs Latinos: "Pulling baseball's annual showcase out of Phoenix could cost the state more than $40 million, a baseball spokesman estimated." Well done.
  • Ruben Navarrette, in the San Diego Union-Tribune, reports this unsurprising anecdote: There are many stories, but here’s just one. A Mexican-American friend of mine who is a corporate executive was mowing his lawn in an affluent and predominantly white neighborhood. He was unshaven and dressed in work clothes when a passer-by complimented him on the landscaping job and asked for a business card. “What’s the name of your company?” he asked. My friend smiled and responded: “Sprint.” 
  • Elsewhere in the San Diego rag, even less surprising support for the bill on the Letters to the Editor page. A sampling:  "I do not anticipate midday public apprehensions of people walking down a street." Really? I do. "Illegal immigration, aside from being against the law, causes economic damage to the public and is resulting in a wide range of offenses, ranging from burglary to murder," claims another. Wow, that's quite a range: from burglary to murder, and, presumably, everything in-between.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports this morning on a new movement in Arizona to get rid of teachers who sound too Mexican. 

Isn't is marvelous to live in a post-racial society?


Fran said...

From burglary to murder? Sounds like we need to enforce immigration regulations on institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Massey mining and BP!

Not to mention the Republican party in general.

I think a possible upside of this whole "down with brown" sort of thing is that if John Boehner shows his leathery, smoke-filled self in Arizona, he will be asked for papers.

Matty Boy said...

Tengrain at Mock, Scissors, Paper pointed out something which I had heard before, but not for a while. NAFTA made the situation worse. Instead of the giant sucking sound of companies moving to Mexico that Ross Perot warned about, it was subsidized corn from the U.S. that crushed the corn farming market of Mexico, leading to an even larger influx of Mexicans crossing the border looking for work.

I've heard the Tea Party crowd are big on the Law of Unintended Consequences. Unfortunately, they think it was invented in November 2008.

Karen Zipdrive said...

My yard guy is of Mexican descent, but it never occurred to me to ask him for proof of citizenship.
My lawn doesn't care and neither do I.
He charges me plenty and I don't care where he spends his money, either.

Madduane said...

I love the object in your brother's picture! I'm trying to imagine what it shoots.

Peteykins said...

Saliva and teeth, like in ExistenZ.

Earl Cootie said...

I've been in love with Linda Rondstadt since she belittled Oral Roberts during a concert in the ORU Mabee Center in Tulsa in the 80s. (This isn't about Arizona, I know, but there was that crappy song a long time ago that expressed some sort of confusion between OK and AZ.)

Anonymous said...

ah well, free trade and racism go hand in hand. when we have slave labor maquiladoras on the border Mexicans will risk their lives crossing the border for a bit safer working conditions and marginally better pay.

Too bad it is so hard for these workers to go home during the off season in agriculture. It causes them to stay, miss their families and wait until the next work comes along.

fuck NAFTA and all it stands for. It is creating terrible social and working conditions on both sides of the Az. border.

sfmike said...

Californians (I'm born and raised) are generally amazingly ignorant about geography, so the Phoenix/Chico story sounds about right. Racism towards Mexicans has always been bad in California, but nothing as horrible I experienced in Texas where people who I assumed should know better were spouting really stupid racial stereotypes. I never noticed it being that bad in my trips to Arizona, but obviously wasn't paying attention.

Nixie Bunny said...

There is already backlash from the police in the Tucson area. I think they figure that if some white-supremacy group wants to sue them, it will be all the better for them since the local government can throw a lot of lawyers at the problem.

I'm continually amazed at the comments from people who just don't get the implications of this law. No, the trouble is not that the illegal immigrants' rights will be violated, it's the Arizona natives with brown skin that will have the problem! Sheesh!

Anonymous said...

The WSJ article you linked to described the new Arizona law as "the nation's toughest law to crack down on illegal immigrants." I've seen other reporters do this. It's so biased it drives me crazy.

I think it should be referred to as "a highly controversial law" instead. Although the WSJ is biased in its editorial pages, its reporters are generally much better, and once a major daily picks up this kind of phrase, lesser reporters tend to follow through. I don't want this to become acceptable, but I'm afraid it already has.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Nixie Bunny said "No, the trouble is not that the illegal immigrants' rights will be violated, it's the Arizona natives with brown skin that will have the problem! Sheesh!"

That's exactly the real issue.
We Americans don't like having to show our papers to goon squads.
We don't even know what our fucking papers are!
Maybe Arizona should start a business where they shrink down copies of U.S. birth certificates so people of color can wear them as necklace pendants, key chains, bracelets and other things they can carry with them at all times.
Seig Heil!