Monday, April 26, 2010

New Arizona [Anti-]Immigration law is racist and deeply hypocritical

Ah, the Pilgrims...North America's First Illegals.  Perhaps the man and woman shown here are some of my ancestors, John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.  Such a lineage used to be the source of great pride -- "American royalty" (until that title was usurped by the Kennedys) -- it still is in some ways, but it also represents the thin edge of a wedge that murdered, raped and stole.

Quite the mixed bag.

Fast-forward 390 years, to this past Friday when Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law what is now recognized as the nation's toughest "immigration" law.  [I place "immigration" in quotes, because this law is about stemming immigration.  It is more rightly called an anti-immigration law.]  In addition to it now being illegal to be, er, illegal in Arizona, it further requires the police to demand papers from anyone suspected of being here illegally.  I'm sure the state's illegal Polish immigrants are shaking in their boots.

I have no doubt that this law will be ruled unconstitutional eventually; it is blatantly so.  What enrages me, however, is that anyone would be able to convince themselves otherwise -- or, constitutionality aside, that this new law is anything but xenophobic, most charitably, and racist at worst.

It is also deeply hypocritical.

Janice Kay "Jan" Brewer is governor of a state that has the second largest population of Native Americans in the country on various reservations covering over a quarter of the state's land area.
A quick search of Brewer's own background comes up a bit cloudy. Her Wikipedia article relates that she was born in Hollywood, CA, to Perry and Edna Drinkwine.  Other articles online cite a slightly different [earlier?] Wikipedia fragment referencing that Brewer, now a Missouri-Synod Lutheran, was raised Jewish.  Regardless, it's pretty safe to say her background is not Native American, in which case her people came here from somewhere, at some point, no doubt lacking proper documentation.

Perhaps, for the Governor and her supporters, if someone didn't have the decency to be here first, like the Native Americans, it is somehow nobler to have arrived on a boat (rather than leaping a fence or transversing a river), or to have had the good taste to speak a European language (Spanish is fine, but only if you're actually from Spain), or at the very least to have arrived before current living memory.

Whatever the reason, it's clear these Juan-Come-Latelies are out of luck.  The inn's full.