Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D, IL-4) imagined what Arizona’s lawmen will have to do when they try to enforce the state’s “Show Me Your Papers” law. He previewed the scenario as a new quiz show, “Who’s the Immigrant?”, on the House floor today:
Corridos (ballads) are the traditional “newspapers” of the Spanish-speaking Southwest. Here’s one by California’s Eugene Rodriguez about a new Arizona law. It’s performed by his group, Los Cenzontles. The video features photographs by Bill Steen of The Canelo Project.
Hat tip: Amy Kitchener, ACTA.
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Welcome to Arizona. Papers, please.
Arizona’s new “Support Law Enforcement & Safe Neighborhoods for Paranoid White People” law was originally based on a simple-minded concept of “trespassing.” Now it preempts federal law under a dubious claim of “concurrent enforcement.” In practice it means local police can stop people who speak with accents or have tan complexions without cause and demand documents proving their legal right to tread on Arizona soil. You can buy a gun in the state without a permit, but carry your passport in Arizona if your skin is tawny.
”So Near and Yet So Totalitarian.”
Now that Governor Jan Brewer has signed this racist absurdity into law, four things are sure to happen:
“Cambridge is the spirited, slightly mischievous side of Boston, located just across the bridge,” says the New England town’s tourism office, but don’t commit any “tumultuous behavior” there. Even in your own house.
Just ask Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PhD, Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Returning from Logan Airport to his Cambridge home after a week in China filming a PBS documentary, Dr. Gates found his front door damaged. He entered by the rear door, turned off his alarm, and opened the damaged front door with help from the car service driver, who then carried in the luggage (Dr. Gates walks with a cane).
Professor Gates called the Harvard Real Estate Office to report the damage and request repairs when a uniformed Cambridge Police officer appeared. Professor Gates produced his University identification and driver’s license, both with his home address, and asked for the officer’s name and badge number. The officer did not respond, whereupon Dr. Gates asked other officers on his porch for that information. He was handcuffed and brought to the police station, where he was detained for four hours.
According to public documents, Dr. Gates “was arrested for Disorderly conduct after exhibiting loud and tumultuous behavior.”