Some time ago there were jokes about New Englanders and Midwesterners who were contemplating traveling to New Mexico and wondered if they would need passports to visit this place. Whether out of ignorance of geography or otherwise, we laughed about it because we knew better. Well, much to our chagrin, some of these people may very well need passports or birth certificates now to visit Arizona, only if, of course, they are of Hispanic/Latino origins and speak Spanish, or if they are of “colors” and languages other than white and English.
But worse than visitors having to bring in their proof of citizenship is the fact that we, native-born Arizonans who may be second, third or more generations, have to have some type of documents with us at all times to verify our citizenship. How bad (and expensive) will it get before this law (SB 1070) is changed and written off the books? What a terrible insult to all of us and not only to Hispanics/Latinos, but others who do not have the biases and prejudices that have prevailed in Arizona and throughout the country who are equally affected and embarrassed by this law.
No one can deny the fact that racial slurs have occurred more since we elected as our president an American, Barack H. Obama, who happens to be African-American. But let’s not forget that his mother was of white origins, if that is any consolation for those who think badly of our president.
I believe that injurious thoughts and actions are prevailing throughout this country because the entire population is changing rapidly in many ways and there are more mixtures of racial identities than before. In other words, we have less “whites” in this country and more “color” than a few years back.
And so, my fellow Arizonans, what do we do to change laws, beliefs and actions that harm everybody, not just we in Arizona? This question may be rhetorical, but in the final analysis, the best thing to change what is not tolerated is to get out the vote! And better than just you, get your friends and families to register on time to vote. We can make the changes needed when you vote in an informed and educated way!
I, and hopefully all of you, do not want to carry verification of citizenship here in our state or in other parts of our country.