Tough Words Over Why Arizona Needs To Lose 2010 All-Star Game

From The New York Daily News.

In the short run, however, the only way to stop a political hustler like Ariz. Gov. Jan Brewer is for other politicians in her state – and that ought to start with Sen. John McCain – to come to their senses about a bad law that invites racial profiling even though Brewer insists it will not.

And if it can’t be stopped, if it does go into effect three months from now, then Major League Baseball ought to announce that a sport in which 30% of the players are Hispanic will not hold the 2011 All-Star Game at Chase Field in Phoenix.

There is nothing that needs to be done in the moment, other than issue the warning. But if both Democrats and Republicans really are going to run from this until after the November elections, trying to appease the white voters who love Gov. Jan Brewer and somehow not scare off the Hispanic vote at the same time, Commissioner Bud Selig – who  owns a home in Arizona – has a chance to be better than all of them.

Selig has a perfect right to say that if the law stands, then the All-Star Game goes somewhere else.

“Major League Baseball needs to revisit the issue of whether the All-Star Game, one of America’s greatest exports to Latin America, should be played in a state that doesn’t show any respect to Latinos,” Jose Serrano (D-Bronx) said to the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez the other day.

There is a historical precedent to all this, of course, and it involves another dim-bulb governor of Arizona and voters who backed his play. The governor was the late Evan Mecham, who decided that Martin Luther King Day had been “illegally certified” as a national holiday, and refused to acknowledge it as such in his state. Mecham, by the way, would be impeached and removed from office a year later, the impeachment charges against him including obstruction and misuse of government funds.

Arizona, by the way, is 30% Hispanic. About the same as Major League Baseball. The commissioner of baseball has a chance here to be a lot more enlightened about this issue than the governor of Arizona, a nobody carried along by the roar of the crowd now, suddenly more popular than she has ever been in an election year, an instant graduate of the Sarah Palin School of Law and Diplomacy. It is like getting a degree online.

On Wednesday, the mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, sounded off big on this issue, and sounded the way President Obama ought to, saying this about Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law:

“This is not good for the country,” Bloomberg said. “I don’t agree with it……The country is committing national suicide.”

The mayor went on to say this, making as much sense on this subject as anybody has lately:

“We have to get real about the 12 million undocumented here,” Bloomberg said. “We’re not going to deport them. Give them permanent status. Don’t make them citizens unless they can qualify. But give them permanent status and let’s get on with this.”

Nobody is saying that all law enforcement officers in Arizona will now consider themselves empowered to harass illegals for sport. We keep hearing that the definition of “reasonable suspicion” does not include pinching Latinos for sport. But Gov. Jan Brewer and her supporters are not living in this world if they don’t see the whole thing as an open invitation to racial profiling. One that does nothing to solve the growing immigration problem in this country.

Though it sure does gives white politicians a chance to look good and tough here, and more patriotic than the Pledge of Allegiance.

Brewer, of course, is the same governor who recently signed Senate Bill 1108 into law in Arizona. That one eliminates the requirement for a concealed-carry weapons permit in her state. You wonder which of these two laws she really thinks makes Arizona a safer place, that one or the one where you are now in a bit of peril for being brown.

4 thoughts on “Tough Words Over Why Arizona Needs To Lose 2010 All-Star Game

  1. Brent

    This is the most ignorant piece of written work I have ever had the bad fortune of reading. I am sick and tired of this race topic and profiling topic. First off, I live in Arizona and if we were racist against Hispanics we wouldn’t live here becaust 40 percent of the population is Hispanic. They are our neighbors, coworkers, friends, firefighters, and most importantly our police officers. If you think you can win an argument on the backs of what is realistically 5% of the population that is possibly racist then you have a severely flawed argument you act as if the vast majority of white people are racist. I think the people who argue race focus far more on race than anyone else. If the borders where flipped and we had a problem with Canadians, we would still be pushing for SB1070. I am disgusted that everyone with this argument wants to paint a picture of our brave police officers as unable to justly enforce a law. How about we give these honorable and brave officers the chance before we discount them all as racists, even though every officer works alongside Hispanic officers or are Hispanic themselves. If police are in persuit of a “white” male, 6′, 160 lbs, wearing a white t-shirt, are they racially profiling? Of course. They aren’t going to stop every black male wearing a white t-shirt because they are afraid of racial profiling, lets be realistic, every police officer has to use some form of racial profiling every day. If a hispanic male robbed you at gunpoint and you were describing him to the police who were trying to find him would you say he was hispanic? That is racial profiling. Quit using the term racial profiling as if it meant the same thing as racial descrimination and if you can’t see the difference then you need to not only educate yourself on SB1070, but you also need to brush up on your vocabulary. All the bill says is that if police have already detained an individual for breaking another law and the person is not able to identify themselves, the police have the right to question and investigate their immigration status. Ask yourself this, if you’ve ever been pulled over for speeding, what’s the fist thing the officer asks for…identification aka “papers”. Give me a break with your ignorant, uneducated rants. So in the end, to punish the state of Arizona for SB1070 you are going to call on boycotts and the removal of the All Star game. Hey, dummy, did it ever occur to you that the All Star game is going to bring a lot of work and money to the hispanic community that will work the event either as security, police officers, vendors, groundskeepers, business owners, hotel workers, restaurant workers etc… So your logic is to hurt the Hispanic community in Arizona in order to protect it from a law that will do nothing but protect the law abiding community. You clearly aren’t from Arizona so next time you want to make a knee jerk reaction based off of assumption, maybe you better take a minute to do some real research so you can actually sound intelligent. And as for your second irrational statement about the new gun concealment law. I work very closely with police in my line of work, the feedback I have heard is they are all for it and believe it will reduce crime significantly based on the effect previouse laws have had. They want more law abiding citizens to be armed to back them up. Do you think that criminals were going out and getting concealed weapons permits before? Of course not, only the law abiding citizens were getting the permits. Having a no concealment law will NEVER keep a criminal from concealing a weapon and banning guns will only take them away from good people trying to defend themselves. The new law states that criminals cannot carry guns. Saying guns kill and not the people pulling the trigger is like saying the keyboard you typed your article on was responsible for the stupidity and ignorance you displayed.

    1. My blog has posted many times on the issue of the Arizona immigration law. It will conuntinue to do so. Each time, and at varying lenghts I have voiced the reason that this law is unconstitutional. It does not matter that you say you live in Arizona. I live in Wisconsin. For each of us the U.S. Constitution remains the same. As such no state can construct its own version of laws that run counter to it, as Arizona has tried. The federal government, through the Justice Department will stop this law before it starts.

      If you are serious about immigration reform join those of us who want a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

      1. brent

        Thank you for your reply. I just wish you had addressed just one of my arguments against your blog. The only thing you could do is regurgitate the ignorant view that this law is unconstitutional. This lawsuit is a sad political statement that will only cost tax payers millions and will accomplish nothing beneficial to this country. This state has constructed a law that runs parallel to the federal law and it is just enforcing the exact federal law with the exception that racial discrimination will not be tolerated, a protection which is not even in the federal law. What about the amnesty cities? They are the ones in direct conflict with federal law. I don’t see people screaming racial profiling at our border patrol agents, why would our well trained police force not be able to enforce the same law they do. I, along with most of Arizona, am in support of immigration reform. I just don’t appreciate the liberal push for “comprehensive” reform because what I’ve learned is this usually means 10,ooo pages of confusion with hidden agendas in the margins. SB1070 is less than 20 pages last I checked. I want simple common sense reform and policies that tackle America’s problems one step at a time, starting with the most important and basic steps. I am wary of anything this administration does that rewrites every letter of how we have always done things in this great country. Fix what’s broken first instead of buying into a whole new approach that is unproven and will likely do more harm than good. In other words don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Here’s my first hand experience version of what needs to happen: First, you have a flooded basement, what do you do first? Mop up the water or fix the leak. Common sense, right…fix the leak aka border. While none of us deny there are many good intentioned people who just want a better life coming across the border, we can’t ignore the dangers of drug trafficking and human smuggling. No one can forget the tragic beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl in the middle east, but no one seems to acknowledge the fact that these drug cartels are beheading people almost daily right at our borders. You want to speak about civil rights? What about the Coyotes’ treatment of humans they smuggle across our borders? These people are held captive for ransom in brutal conditions, often times stripped of their clothes and given only water if they are lucky. These drop houses are all over the city. Human smuggling is an option as a way into our country simply because of our porous borders. I’m sure living in Wisconsin you don’t hear much about this. For the safety of our country we can never afford an open border, and promising amnesty will only open the flood gates and put thousands of lives at risk, especially those crossing the border. In a time where we have nearly 10% unemployment why should we be so willing to hand over jobs to people who broke the federal law to get those jobs in the first place? There is no doubt that the federal government’s inadequacies have created a huge mess of millions of illegal immigrants, so why shouldn’t the states be able to step in where the federal government has failed so miserably? Sadly with this big of a problem there is only one realistic solution. Once the border is secure, offer illegal immigrants temporary work visas so they will come forward and be identified and begin to pay this country back for the services and utilities they have stolen and offer them a path to citizenship. It can’t be a short, easy path either, because that would not be fair to the hundreds of thousands of people who have waited years and don’t have the luxury of simply walking across our border and staking claim. Give them 3 months to come forward. After that, the government had better be serious about throwing out the remainder because they are probably the criminals if they are not willing to come forward. Deporting everyone with how long this problem has gone on is just not a fair or realistic option, many of these people have been here years and have grown children and families. On the other hand almost everyone I know has a story like mine. I was involved in a rear end collision that caused physical injury and thousands of dollars in damage. The person responsible had no ID, no insurance, and did not speak English. He was allowed to walk free without any consequence for his actions and I was left with pain and bills because my insurance had no way to track him down. With this new law he would have been held accountable. So yes, it does matter that I live in Arizona because I have literally felt the impact of this problem first hand. I am 100% pro legal immigration, I worked for 3 years in a heavily Hispanic populated neighborhood. I learned a lot on Spanish and had an experience learning the culture and interacting with some great people. They are mostly well intentioned, but need to contribute like the rest of us and learn our language, history and government. Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? Working in that Hispanic neighborhood not only did I learn a lot of Spanish, but I also learned that your social security number is worth 60 bucks on the street. So in closing, I love a spirited debate, which is why I would like to hear your response to my challenges. Tell me what good would come from pulling the All Star Game? What is actually unconstitutional about this bill? Would you racially profile when describing a criminal to police, or would you refuse to tell police the color of the person’s skin? A physical description is not a judgment upon an individual. Finally, answer my response to the concealment law. I believe you would like to see guns banned all together, but ask yourself, would that really keep the criminals from getting their hands on them? Would that not just strip law abiding citizens of their right to protect themselves just like the government is trying to strip Arizona its right to protect its citizens? I am an open minded person when the other side provides common sense and reason to an argument, unfortunately your side has not presented any. I hope I have provided you with some common sense and reason.

  2. Brent,

    When I look at the immigration law in Arizona I see an unconstitutional action. Some of your state officials think this a grand idea. So when you write “the only thing you could do is regurgitate the ignorant view that this law is unconstitutional” makes me wonder how do we go forward as a nation on these important matters if the very foundation of where we start can not be established. Either the laws of the states meet constitutional standards or they do not. That IS the argument I have about this matter. All of the anecdotal things of which you write are not to discounted, but to me none of that is the issue when it comes to the law itself. First, and foremost, a state can not implement a law that does not meet constitutional standards.

    I have written many posts on my blog about immigration, and some of the issues that we are facing. As such I hope you understand why I do not then take the time to write over again what has been said elsewhere. I do however want to address a few issues in brief.

    I very much think a nation has the right to set immigration policies.

    I think the immigrants of which we speak should have the right to get drivers licenses. It is a good way to promote safe driving. I think every state should mandate auto insurance. Wisconsin, if you can believe it, finally just did so in the most recent state budget.

    As one who worked in the WI state legislature for many years as an Administrative Assistant I can say there is a need for comprehensive action on large bills of this type. Any of the large complex measures, though messy, have so many interlocking parts that making one big push to remedy the matter is the best way forward. Given how special interests can rip and shred every idea is just one reason why this approach is the best.

    I supported the original plan of President Bush on the immigration plan for the most part. I did so knowing then as now that compromise will be needed by all to get such a bill passed.

    As to guns…a whole different topic. Suffice it to say I think there are just too many guns in general circulation in the United States, and much needs to be done to curtail them for everyone.

    I welcome your ideas, and do not discount the feelings or angst you have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s