Razing Arizona; or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Fascist America
You may already be somewhat familiar with this story, as previously reported upon by ChillbearLatrigue, our resident man of the badge (police badge, that is, if you’re a slow one) in his delightfully satirical piece, Suspicious Sombreros. The basics: last Friday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer emphatically signed into law a new illegal immigration bill, known by the ominously simple title of SB1070, that enables the Arizona law enforcement to detain anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant (just to be clear, I’m on team Walter [see Chillbear's article and comments to get this callback]) and would required those detained to produce evidence of citizenship. To put it more enragingly, in Arizona you are now assumed an illegal immigrant until you prove otherwise.
It’s outrageous. It’s unconstitutional. It’s fascist. I find it very ironic that a lot of the proponents and supporters of this legislation are the same one’s referring to our president as “Fuhrur Obama.” So how do we, the reasonable and tolerant volk of America, vent our frustration? Do we cry out in protest? Do we angrily write passive-aggressive posts on the internet? Do we join in a boycott of the state of Arizona?
I’ve called for boycotts of other states in the past. You might remember the boycott of Oklahoma I pushed for in my piece on the state pushing through an abortion intimidation bill. I remember considering writing a post calling for the boycott of South Dakota, but I didn’t and now can’t recall why (although I suspect it was also for some crazy abortion ban). I’ve not written much about it here, but I also have a standing boycott of Southern California. For personal reasons. Long story.
So it may come as a surprise to you that I’m not calling for a boycott of Arizona (and it’s not because I have future family-in-law there). Quite the opposite, in fact. I encourage all in Arizona to stay there, and any who are planning on visiting to continue to plan to visit and also to encourage those who are willing and available to consider planning a trip to Arizona.
With one caveat, involving a sharpie and a t-shirt:
In whatever means you can, self identify as an illegal immigrant. T-shirts, buttons, tattoos. Start wearing the clothing, apparel and attire that the proponents of this bill purport to indicate an illegal immigrant. Start acting like how you’d suspect the Arizona law enforcement suspects an illegal immigrant acts like. Give the police every possible reason to suspect you of being an illegal immigrant and if they don’t detain you and ask you for your papers please, ask them why. If they say you don’t look like an illegal immigrant, point to the shirt. If they still don’t detain you, mutter something about them being a racist under your breath and when they sternly ask, “What did you say?” reply, “Nothing!” and when the officer replies, “That’s what I thought,” it’s time to walk away. Even though the police force is caught up in all of this, we still ought to show them a certain degree of respect.
Of course, I’m not saying anyone should actually risk going to jail if they don’t want to. Have some form of identification on you, so the entire encounter becomes a complete waste of time and resources on the side of the Arizona law enforcement. That’s the idea, to waste the time and resources of the state of Arizona until they’ve either gotten sick of it or this new law becomes too expensive to continue.
This is the tough love I referred to. Although it seems racism and prejudice are just as American as deep fried Twinkies and super size fries, fascism has always been something we’ve fought against, and we cannot let this illegal illegal immigration bill stand. These United States are like 50 brothers. Some have gone to college and on to other successful endeavors, while others are still struggling with sixth grade arithmetic. Just like with real brothers, when you see your brother state making mistakes and terrible decisions, we need to wrap our arms around these brother states in a tough love embrace and whisper into their ear, calmly yet sternly, “Brother, you’re fucking up. You’re fucking up right now.” We do need some form of immigration reform, but brother, this ain’t it.