Racist Arizonans?

Arizona State Flag

This country’s history is riddled with racist domestic and international policies. The struggle for social justice is ongoing.  Pointing fingers and playing the race card will not help.  It’s red meat. Don’t take the bait!

Yes, there are probably racists in Arizona, but that’s not what we need to focus on.  We need to avoid polarization and work together for comprehensive immigration reform.

Before I left for Arizona, I was talking to a a Vietnamese small business owner in DC whom I’ve known for several years. Vincent immigrated to the United States with his family after the war when he was a boy.  He said he hadn’t been paying attention to the news,  and then after a moment of reflection he remarked, “I guess it [SB1070] shouldn’t be a problem if you’re in the country legally and  your papers are in order.”

One visitor posted this comment, “When travelling overseas you carry a passport to get into countries and in some countries travellers are expected to carry their passport at all times and can be asked by cops (and even hotel clerks) to show it. If you are in a country illegally you shouldn’t expect to not be asked to prove who you are.”

I agree with them.  Given Arizona’s problems, it makes sense for their police officers to check a person’s immigration status.  I don’t understand the histrionic backlash coming from the liberal left.  And I consider myself part of the progressive camp!

The number of readers and thoughtful responses to my posts about Arizona’s approach to immigration encourages me to think that there are many Americans who can engage in an informed, civil discussion about this complex and difficult issue and who want to work together to find a solution.

Our country needs legal immigrants.  It’s time to rise above the stereotyping sound bytes and demand that Congress enact immigration reform now!

~N. Logsdon Mandelkorn

2 responses to “Racist Arizonans?

  1. Clue less. Ignorance is not an excuse. Experience discrimination some where else, then come back and look at the issue again. Some times you have to relate to some topic to be able to talk about it intelligently.

    • Alex,
      I’m not sure, but it seems as if you were either referring to me as clueless and ignorant, to Arizona residents or to both. Although I’m a US citizen and caucasian, I often experience discrimination in the United States. In this country, the wealthy class discriminates against those not born into privilege. And it is very painful. Because of my life experiences here and in other countries where I was among the minority, I empathize with Latinos and other minorities.

      I would like for the US Congress (and the rest of the world’s governments) to enact legislation that would enable anyone without a criminal record to obtain an international work permit, thus enabling anyone to work anywhere in the world where they can find work.

      Unfortunately, giving workers permits would cut corporate profits that depend heavily on “slave” labor. So I’m not too optimistic about this happening anytime soon. As for large sections of the US like Arizona, people live in information deserts with little access to education. So for them, ignorance might really be an excuse even if it is inexcusable.

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