I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Horne, Pearce malign activists? Shocking.

Seems to me that the AZ Republic endorsed most of this slate of fools in the legislature and Governor's house...these are among the least of these men's crimes, by the way...this is just an example of their dirty tactics.


Recent events show pattern of recklessness

Mar. 25, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

Two recent events raise disturbing questions about what kind of state Arizona is becoming. One involves the Legislature. The other concerns the attorney general.

In both cases, elected officials sought political advantage at the expense of Latinos, who make up 30 percent of Arizona's population.

You've heard a lot about the one incident. Last week, Republican Sen. Lori Klein read a letter on the Senate floor that said Latino students are more interested in being gang members than in getting an education.

The letter had been e-mailed to Senate President Russell Pearce by a substitute teacher, whom Pearce initially declined to identify. It said, "most of the Hispanic students ... hate America."

The tone and language were so inflammatory - and so typical of extremist anti-immigration rhetoric - that it would have raised red flags for most people. The letter said students refused to pledge allegiance to the flag or speak English. It included negative depictions of Latino youngsters and decried an "invasion of our state."

The author of the letter, later identified as Anthony Hill, offered no proof of his charges. Nor did he have any way of knowing whether the students he was condemning were undocumented, the children of undocumented people or descendants of families that have lived in the Valley for generations.

Glendale Elementary School District began an investigation and found the allegations to be inaccurate. But that came a week after the letter was read in the Senate.

Pearce passed on the letter before the district checked it out. He continues to defend it. Klein accepted the diatribe as information worth sharing and used it to argue in favor of unwise immigration measures that were subsequently - thankfully - rejected.

In the process, ugly stereotypes about Latino children, not just undocumented children, were presented as fact.

Reading this letter was particularly reckless considering the increasingly divisive tone of the debate about immigration.

Arizona has a large population of Latino citizens who have as much right to be here as any member of the Legislature. They and their children should not be fair game in the maneuvering to gain a political upper hand.

Arizona deserves better from its elected officials.

Which brings us to the second event.

Republican Attorney General Tom Horne sent out a news release last week under the subject line: "Horne Releases Raza Mob Video." The video showed a group of what appeared to be Latino protesters chanting and following Horne outside the Capitol.

Horne's release described these peaceful protesters as "a thuggish mob," a charge not backed up by the video.

As superintendent of public instruction, Horne made quite a campaign of opposing raza studies in the Tucson Unified School District, and this editorial page shared his concerns.

But his use of the term "raza" in this release had an incendiary tinge that a man in Horne's position should recognize.

Coupled with "mob," it conjures images of dangerous and threatening people and positions the AG as a bulwark against this Latino ethnic threat. Please.

Arizona is an ethnically and racially diverse state that benefits from the contributions of many people. It also would benefit from leaders who bring us together instead of working the edges.

It was reckless to read in the Senate a letter that is steeped in negative stereotypes. It was irresponsible to characterize a group of peaceful protesters as a "raza mob."

Arizonans should hold elected officials to a higher standard.

No comments:

Post a Comment