by Daniel Cubias
I never get tired of writing about Hispanic culture. But I have to admit that certain related topics have started to wear on me. Check that — one subject has pummeled me into stunned disbelief and ulcer-causing frustration.
Yes, once again, I have to grit my teeth and pound the word “Arizona” into the keyboard. It wasn’t enough that the state passed SB 1070, the most overtly Latino-hostile piece of legislation in modern history. Nor was Arizona satisfied when it banned ethnic studies in high schools, under the guise that kids who learned about Cesar Chavez would get riled up and burn down Tucson.
Well, now Arizona, in its quest to be the capital of xenophobeland, is trying to deny citizenship to children born in the state, if their parents are undocumented. While it’s at it, the state also wants to prohibit children of undocumented immigrants from attending public schools. This “would turn school administrators into de facto immigration enforcement agents by asking them to turn over families that did not provide citizenship or legal resident papers.”
Of course, the bills are clearly unconstitutional, which is hilarious coming from a state that is so “conservative.” But that’s not the point.
Apparently, Arizona has been feeling insecure about its status as the most rootin’ tootin’ Hispanic-hatin’ place in the country. After all, several other states have tried to copy SB 1070, but most of them have suffered from a surplus of sanity and failed to adopt Arizona’s high standards. Still, it has to shake Arizona up to think it might not be number one when it comes to nativism.
So now it’s devised new ideas that make it clear who is the frontrunner in the race to be the craziest place in America. Sure, these plans trample the 14th Amendment and ignore multiple Supreme Court decisions. But we should not be surprised at Arizona’s defiant response.
This is a state that has a long history of doing as it pleases to keep its most reactionary citizens happy. As far back as 1917, Arizona was simply rounding up undesirables (with a special focus on Hispanics) and dumping them in the desert to die. Compared to that, kicking little Juan out of kindergarten seems lightweight.
In any case, the news coming out of Arizona has beaten me down. I’m not calling for a boycott of the state — just a moratorium on writing about the place, a breather if you will, to let our tension subside.
Who knows, maybe if we stop giving Arizona so much attention, it will stop acting out.
To learn more about Daniel Cubias, visit Hispanic Fanatic.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and should not be understood to be shared by Being Latino, Inc.