It’s hard to live in Phoenix

4 11 2010

This is coming from someone who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, who lived there all his life until about nine months ago.

In the past nine months, I’ve seen the short-sighted and racist SB 1070 further divide this state. Shook my head as cities and high-profile individuals boycotted and made fun of Arizona. Wondered why in the world a person like Joe Arpaio can wield such clout and be so popular. Only here, I guess. Where I come from, he’d be put in check and would never be allowed to treat innocent human beings the way he has.

And then it got worse. On Election Day, Republicans (conservative ones at that) dominated in this state. Jan Brewer, the inarticulate, bumbling governor whose overseeing of the state budget was so bad that she had to temporarily raise the state’s sales tax, cruised to victory again. She still has a huge budget deficit to address and the legality of SB 1070 in the Circuit Court to deal with, and I can only hope she and her cronies fails miserably.

For the time being, education spending will be cut. An absolute shame. And we have a ranting lunatic leading the state senate, a man so out of touch that he wants to deny birth certificates to children born to illegal immigrants in this country. Really? Good luck in the Supreme Court with that one, pal.

This state was once a part of Mexico. Mexicans were the first non-indigenous people here, and they remain, and yet many of those in the state government want to target and persecute an entire community. Why? We’re all hard-working, family-minded people trying to make a living and survive. We are all human beings. We can all be, and already are, part of the solution and not the problem.

Sun setting over South Phx.

People I know in the Latino community who are from here are embarrassed and ashamed that their home state has come to this. But they must keep fighting the good fight. We have to keep making a difference in our own neighborhoods and make change happen little by little.

All of which made last night’s story about Steve Nash (who has been outspoken against SB 1070) leaving the Suns for a political career in his native Canada a major downer. But the story was fake, a hoax. Personally, I’m not a fan of making things up and putting them out there like its legit. That’s not journalism, and all it does is complicate life.

Oh well, at least I have sports. My saving grace, the thing I like to follow the most. Even that has been affected by leadership in this state. But boycotts of upcoming ventures (MLB All-Star Game, MLS training) solve nothing. I understand and to some extent sympathize with those who feel pro leagues should not do business here, especially with baseball and soccer having so many Latinos, but let’s pump some life into the economy here so that students can have ethnic studies and learn their history. So that we can exist here.

It’s good that people are outspoken about these issues. They should be. But Arizona needs help and support for those affected by its laws, not avoidance.

With soccer, MLS doesn’t get much respect in this country as it is, and boycotting it because teams only want to train here can only hurt the league at a time when it needs to be promoted. And what if a Latino player uses the opportunity to speak out about the injustice of SB 1070 while here? And what if the law, already watered down by district court, is little more than words on paper before anyone even gets here?

Now I’m done. Let’s end this with something fun.




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