Big Smoke

'cause it's hard to see from where I'm standin'

Racism!

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Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law a ban on ethnic studies classes, specifically in response to a class that teaches Mexican-American history, on the grounds that it would “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”

Apparently irony isn’t one of her strong points. For starters, Arizona was Mexico. For seconds, if there is resentment towards whites in that state, wouldn’t it be from the fact that it’s discriminating against Hispanics? And isn’t this bill clearly more evidence of just that? Unbelievable.

Similarly, Jackson, NY*, a small town near Vermont, has signed a law declaring all official activity be done in English – itself unconstitutional – which is not only unnecessary (what non-English speakers would they find near Vermont? Errant Quebecois?) but ugly in the sort of support it’s getting. To quote one commenter,

This is an extremely positive development to stem the de-Americanization of America.

Because America’s entire history isn’t just one big long list of immigrants. I don’t see you people speaking Tsalagi. To quote another,

Then I thought to myself: if I was in court in say, France, I would not go to foreclosure court and assume that a translator would be made available to me. I would not own property in France and assume that my ignorance of French would be accommodated. Similarly, I would not go to the hospital, or to pay a utility bill, go to school, or out to eat and assume that those establishments would provide someone to assist me in transacting my business in anything else but French.

Which is ironic, since like most Europeans, French citizens have a more robust educational system when it comes to learning foreign languages, are surrounded by people who speak foreign languages and are more likely to be conversant in foreign languages (especially English) than Americans. Not to mention the racism of assuming that because one cannot speak fluently, one must not be allowed to own property, pay bills, go to school or the hospital.

The comments are not terribly dissimilar to those in today’s Times article on racial profiling in NYC:

FACT: Blacks and latinos commit a much greater percentage of crime in relation to their overall population then white people do. Hence, more frisks, arrests, etc.

Apparently said commenter has not heard of the self-serving prophecy. Forgetting about police quotas and the high rate of drug charges, it’s a fairly simple concept: More scrutiny equals more arrests. If cops harassed random suburban white boys with the fervor they did Black hoods, we’d see a far higher rate of incarceration for whites. (Not to mention more sensationalism about the negative effects of crystal meth, but I digress.)

Two steps forward, two steps back. And to think we’re supposedly the most egalitarian nation in the world…

*It never ceases to amaze me just how much upstate New York is total hicksville.

An Elegant Solution

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Everybody knows the insanity of governor Jan Brewer’s suicidal* new law that basically gives Arizona police not only the right but the responsibility to demand citizenship papers of anyone they suspect may be illegal immigrants (read: All Latinos). Duncan Hunter, republican congressman from California, suggests they go one further and deport children of illegal immigrants born in the United States, despite being legal US citizens themselves.

I suggest a simple, elegant solution to the Wehrmacht surreality of Arizona: Give the state back to Mexico. It solves so many problems:

For starters, it was Mexico’s to begin with. The Latino population has more historical right to be there than their Caucasian counterparts.

Then, it rids America of a large swath of radical assault rifle-toting vigilantes (and ASU graduates), who will soon find that the Mexican Policia Federale are somewhat less forgiving, not to mention an end to the political scene that gave us John McCain and Barry Goldwater.

It’s perfect!

*Alienating Latinos, a third of the state’s voting population, is a brilliant idea for the GOP, especially since they can’t get Black votes either.

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