State Treasurer and GOP governor-wannabe, Dean Martin, recently proposed that Arizona create a statewide “Tent City” to house all those illegals that Senate Bill 1070 anticipates needing housing. Hard to imagine how we are going to find all these new tenants given that we are absolutely committed to not racially profiling and, thereby, overlooking the color of skin! What are we pretending not to know?
What would you call the detention camps that were constructed south of Chandler on SR587 that were used to house people of the color yellow for the duration of World War II? Tent Cities without the tents? What laws had these people broken other than simply being born as non-white people? What are we pretending not to know?
Not to be upstaged in the “mean and nasty” category, state Sen. Russell Pearce, Mesa, along with his House sidekick, John Kavanaugh, Fountain Hills, proposed an initiative to make the babies of illegals born in this country “criminals at birth” by denying them U.S. citizenship which just happens to be guaranteed under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Guess these right-wingers have resorted to that horrid so-called liberal practice of situational ethics by overlooking a literal interpretation of the Constitution! What are we pretending not to know?
I read all these editorials written by arrogant white people in the Valley media attempting to defend Senate Bill 1070 as simply federal statutes codified into state law, overlooking, of course, the fact that states have no right to pass laws that have to do with international borders or foreign policy thus the reason that Secretary of State Clinton announced recently in Ecuador that the federal government would sue Arizona over Senate Bill 1070. What are we pretending not to know?
I listen to the rantings on local talk radio that express dismay that those who are boycotting Arizona obviously “don’t get it” and that instead of boycotting Arizona they should be embracing us and supporting our righteous cause for ethnic cleansing. Hispanic people have been traveling back and forth between what is now called Arizona and Mexico for hundreds of years, unimpeded by borders and documentation until the Calvary arrived. What are we pretending not to know?
Fact is that it is not the actual language in Senate Bill 1070 that is so damning. It is the intent of and the mean-spirited vindictive nature of those who drafted and defend the bill that is so appalling. Empowered by public opinion polls they now talk of concentration camps and making criminals of the unborn. Segregation used to be popular, too…so was prohibition…as well as denying women the right to vote…the Vietnam War…George W. Bush. Popular opinion is fickle and not solid ground for laws such as Senate Bill 1070. What are we pretending not to know?
It is time that we call a “snake a snake” and rid ourselves of this divisive law. It is time for comprehensive immigration reform…for amnesty…for a path to citizenship. It is time we stop pretending that Senate Bill 1070 is not racial discrimination and start embracing our cultural diversity.
Jon Beydler is a 33-year Valley resident and the former mayor of Fountain Hills who lives in south Chandler. Reach him at Jonbeydler@aol.com.