For those of ustedes too occupied with the your Drinko por Cinco hangover, the initiative I mentioned (signed a few weeks ago into law by Arizona’s governor) gives immigration powers to the state’s police officers and sheriff’s deputies and allows them to stop and question anyone they think looks like an illegal immigrant. Besides being the most blatant invitation to racially profile Mexicans since the sombrero, it’s also a civil liberties disgrace that is making the Copper State’s greatest son, libertarian icon Barry Goldwater, no doubt wishing he was born in Utah.
A movement is under way to boycott the state and also national companies based in Arizona such as U-Haul and US Airways. A boycott of the state worked back in the 1990s, when Arizonans refused to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as a state holiday, and it should work now—visit arizona-boycott.org for other companies to shun (and if you’re a baseball fan, don’t forget to root for your team when they play the reprehensible Arizona Diamondbacks, whose owners shower millions on Arizona’s retrograde politicians). But I also want to urge a buycott—there are good people who have been fighting the Know Nothings in the state for decades, who constantly get threatened and who need our support. Below is a partial list of groups and organizations that deserve your attention, whether a monetary contribution, a kind note, or physical support.
Now, some of the good people of Arizona:
Phoenix New Times: Sure, they carry my column from time to time, they’re the sister paper of the Mexican’s hometown OC Weekly, and they’re the base for the two drunk micks who own our parent company, Village Voice Media. But the New Times, more than any other news organization, has exposed best and longest the terrifying reign of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the intellectual godfather of SB1070. Their reporters past and present—especially John Dougherty, Paul Rubin, and Stephen Lemons—have been the subject of intimidation, stonewalling, and harassment by Arpayaso solely because they’ve exposed him for the corrupt pendejo that he is. Arpayaso knows how dangerous the New Times is—he once had my patrones Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin arrested on charges so spurious he had to release them within a day. Go to phoenixnewtimes.com a million times a day to spur their readership numbers, which allows them to bring in more advertising and gives them more fuel against that pinche Arpayaso.
Puente Movement: Not to be confused with the Puente Project, the Puente Movement has been the primary organizer of protests in Phoenix against Arpayaso and must frequently suffer bona fide Nazis hurling invectives at kiddies and peaceful people. Visit puenteaz.org.
Somos America: A coalition of Arizona groups united for immigration reform, now understandably focusing on dismantling SB1070. Visit somosamerica.org.
Derechos Humanos: Fighting the same fights as other groups, but from Tucson. Know Nothings despise the group’s head, Isabel Garcia, so we should anoint her the next Dolores Huerta. Visit derechoshumanosaz.net.
Border Action Network: Exactly what it sounds like. Visit borderaction.org.
Clarence Dupnik: Sheriff of Pima County, which includes Tucson. Has called SB1070 a “national embarrassment.” The anti-Arpayaso.