Pop Culture, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

By The Time I Get To Arizona

Every time I start to think that race relations in this country are getting better, I just remind myself that Arizona exists. I’m not sure why or how, but every time there is some sort of race-based stand to take in this great nation of ours, Arizona ALWAYS makes it a point to be the sacrificial lamb. I’d like to blame the Arizona government and not the people, but the people elected the government officials who sign such f*ckery as the two most recent pieces of legislation into law. Jan Brewer, I’m looking at you, you racist f*ck  you.

Seriously, if I didn’t know any better, I’d SWEAR Arizona really doesn’t f*ck with Hispanics, like at all. Ironic considering the sizable Hispanic population IN ARIZONA.

In the past month, Arizona has signed into state law both SB 1070 (basically giving the authorities carte blanche to profile those individuals for which a reasonable suspicion lies on their immigration status) and the law banning ethnic studies from a Tucson school district because of the possibility of those classes causing animosity towards white people and promoting ethnic solidarity. AND let us not forget the Arizona Department of Education has banned teachers with what can be deemed an accent from teaching English.

Just in case I’m not clear and don’t remember to state this later: f*ck Arizona.

Let’s start with SB 1070, a bill that’s caused a firestorm throughout the nation. A lot of people are all for it. But most municipalities in Arizona are dead set against it. Why? Because it encourages profiling. While everybody engages in a little playful racial profiling from time to time (who do YOU expect to cut your grass?) the police, generally an uneducated individual with power and control issues, are now given the right to request anbody’s immigration status. So you can just be walking down the street, whistling some mariachi music, and the police can suspect that you might not have your papers. At which point they can search you and deport you – if you don’t have your papers. Look, I have a problem with illegal immigration too. Maybe it’s the term illegal that throws me for a loop. If you’re illegal, you’re illegal. But profiling the cholos is just a gateway to profiling EVERYBODY. It opens the door for harassment under the guise of ensuring that no crimes are committed. I have a problem with the civil liberties of Americans being violated to appeal to the conservative base of a party that’s struggling for an identity. White people are okay with this until it happens to them. Lucky for them it won’t. But Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky, and Mike Juan, Pablo, Miguel and Maria, you’d better watch you back.

Then we have the ethnic studies f*ckfest inTucson. So let me get this right, you don’t want to teach classes like Mexican Studies, or African American studies, etc because they preach ethnic solidarity and breed animosity towards white people. Yet, you are going to require all Black, Hispanic, Asian, etc students to continue to learn European history (basically a white solidarity class) which teaches ALL OF US that European history is the only relevant history we need to know. Oh, and I’m guessing they’ll gloss over slavery, internment camps. the Mexican-American war and Thanksgiving, in order to make sure that no ethnic kids get pissed at white people. So kids of color can’t learn about their history but its TOTALLY okay to learn about European history, a history that largely relegated most folks of color to random footnotes, Pocohantas, Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. I watched a video of Tom Horne, the state schools chief, trying his best to convince somebody that ethnic studies was detrimental and preached separation, whereas American History was all the rage. I hate him by the way.

And let’s not even really get onto the “heavy accent” thing. I went to school down South. Like, for real. Half of my teachers could barely speak English and they were teaching everything from English to Trigonometry. I guess really bad Americanized English accents are okay, but Hispanics with accents teaching English is totally out.

Straight up, the government of Arizona puzzles me. Why go SO far to make a stand against a people that comprise such a sizable portion of your state. I understand appealing to your base but damn. I used to think Texas had everything backwards but clearly Arizona is the state that needs be dropped from the union.

For a change, this doesn’t have much to do with Black people but still, racist policies are racist policies, but I wonder: should we even be surprised that any state has gone to such blatant and f*cked up means of showing overt racism? Is anybody shocked by this or is this just more of the same?

Is anybody else ready to move to Arizona with me?????


Filed Under:
Damon Young

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • GoldinPhoenix

    This is the one issue that makes me realize, beyond a reasonable doubt, that white people are PISSED about Obama.

    Why else would something like this be allowed to pass AND not repealed by the people (cause we have that power you know)?

    I haven’t figured out what conspiracy this is a part of yet, but once I figure it out, I’ll share it. . .

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

      “I haven’t figured out what conspiracy this is a part of yet, but once I figure it out, I’ll share it. . .”

      Jim Jones.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @GoldinPhoenix – at least various members of local gov’ts and national orgs are challenging the law’s constitutionality. But you know why? Bc it stands to possibly infringe on the rights of Americans. if it’s one thing that white folks don’t f*ck with, its folks infringing on their rights. Piss off enough white people and you’ll get change…good or bad.

      • IJstDntUnderstand

        Yeah this is craziness and the more people I talk to the more I realize that I am definitely not the only one who thinks Arizona is sniffing that white stuff….How did these laws seriously get passed? Like where was the opposition, where is Obama…Arizona is going to look like Detroit in the 60’s if something isn’t done soon…like yesterday type soon.

    • Jay

      I’m sure these particular white people would’ve tried this nonsense even before Obama…they probably just didn’t have an opportunity til recently.

  • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

    European history? Really? American History uplifts while Black and Hispanic history seperates? I am from Oklahoma and were not even that damn backwards. That is just racist period!

    How is it legal to search a random person anyway?

    • Yeah…So

      True… like how dey know you not visiting! Douches

    • Pe. Riche.

      It’s not legal to just do a random search without probable cause.

      However, in this case of SB 1070, the probable causes would be an officer of the law encountering an individual who SEEMS to be of Hispanic decent, and, one who appears to be here illegally.

      Now, the law is to be free of ambiguities for a reason. If police officers are simply stopping people based on their own personal judgements and not solidified and concrete laws and facts (for instance, using judgement to stop someone of suspicion of a DUI is has tangible scenarios allows officers to make sound decisions void of personal and biased discrimination), then the opportunity for abuse of power, and abuse of the people that should be protected, are almost guaranteed.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @Pe. Riche – that’s absolutely right. there’s too much wiggle room in the law. You’re putting the decision making responsibilities in the hands of people who don’t know how to interpret the law themselves. It turns into a rope up now and figure it out later scenario.

      • sweetbee

        “one who appears to be here illegally”

        How do you appear to be illegal? Are they hopping from bush to bush? Scaling walls between homes? Peeking behind trees? That’s the most retarded requirement/indicator to stop someone I’ve heard of. Even the KKK is scratching their heads about that one.

      • copelli21

        Actually, it would have to be “lawful contact” by the officer with the person. And as you stated, unlawful search and seizure is just that….unlawful.

        So the officer would have to encounter and make this “lawful contact” via legit cause….like a traffic violation.

        Similar to the traffic sweeps done by Sheriff Joe Arpaio (maricopa county sheriff). The police cannot just run up on any person who looks Hispanic and demand proof of citizenship without legal cause.

        I do agree however, that the law has alot of ambiguity and cause for concern. I do not agree with the law, but I do understand the frustration of arizonans when it comes to the failure of the Federal gov’t to secure the arizona/mexican border.

        Phoenix is a city that has become the kidnapping capital of the WORLD outside of Mexico City because of coyotes kidnapping and transporting people to & fro Arizona and Mexico. There are drop houses all over the place and it’s out of control.

        I never thought I’d be almost on the side of a bunch of red-neck cowboys, but the border issue is a problem….a FEDERAL GOV’T problem by their own declaration a “national security issue.” If that’s the case then step the hell up and do something about it. Because other states are already working on laws that mirror AZ-1070(b) and that’s not good news for anyone.

        • Gdubbl

          @Copelli21 I think you are right on most of what you say but there are a few things missing. First, lawful contact did not initially mean that it had to be related to a stop for some other offense. They later amended the law to add that some other reason beyond ethnicity or appearance had to be present. The problem is that there are so many obscure laws that would allow for a pre-textual stop that cops will still be free to stop someone who “looks” suspicious and pin it on some arcane law. This addendum will do little to curtail the racial profiling, in my opinion.

          Secondly, while the proponents of this law have detailed crime as an exigency necessitating this law “NOW”. The fact is crime especially violent crime in Arizona (and honestly in all southern border states) has decreased precipitously. In fact a quick Google search shows that crime in AZ was at its lowest levels (save kidnapping which is almost always illegal v illegal) since the early 2000’s. So that argument they make dreally doesn’t hold up.

          I actually think this is more political and more insidious than we are really discussing. This bill isn’t about 4th amendment rights v states rights. It is about suppressing the Mexican voters! The Governor and Srarh Palin are shrieking about the lack of effort by the Federal Govt (Obama Administration) when in reality Obama has increased resources and funding for that region by 20% over Bush (where was this law then?) deportations especially of violent illegal immigrants was at a record level in 2009 (and that’s with less people attempting to enter the US due to our economy). In essence this administration has DONE more to curtail illegal immigration than BUSH I, BUSH II, Clinton, and the Great Emancipator (Reagan) yet he gets blamed for doing nothing lol. I think you see where I am taking this argument. Being a black man who has lived in Tucson and Phoenix for over 20 years. This billisn’t designed to stop the flow of immigrants, its designed to intimidate legal voters from attempting to vote. In my opinion.

  • Deacon Frost


    Snowboarding in Flagstaff was fun as hell.

  • http://www-shay-d-lady.com shay-d-lady

    Arizona is run by a bunch of moist *ss ninjas.
    But with such a sizable hispanic population why did it pass?
    Anyway I am totally with you on the ratchetness of arizona. I just don’t even understand
    Like yall for real with that?
    And I’m equally as mad at all the “bout time they on someone else” black folks that don’t realize
    That this shyt will eventually effect us 1 and 2 knowing first hand how it feels why would you take
    Pleasure in someone else having to deal with it.
    Can we force a state to secede?

    • Sula

      Can we force a state to secede?

      That is so funny! :)

      • http://uphereoncloud9.wordpress.com/ Wu Young Agent of M.E.

        @shay-d-lady @Sula

        Easy on the secession talk ladies. Some of my fellow 2520 South Carolinians might hear you and try it again.

    • Gem of the Ocean

      That this shyt will eventually effect us

      exactly!!! ALL ppl of color should care. ethnic genocide and apartheid did/do not happen over night!!!! it happens with ppl’s right slowly and systematically being taken away.

      and i for one am very happy that i know many colored (lol) ppl and organizations who are taken an active stand in economically boycotting the state of Arizona.

  • I’ll give it a try

    As an educator, I go the extra mile to give our kids some knowledge about their history. No matter what, I’ll find some way to work Black History into the lesson. Yall would be absolutely amazed at how much these children do not know! From black pop culture on down to politics, these churren are clueless sometimes!

    I almost shat my pants last semester when a group of my students didn’t know who Sojourner Truth was! I promptly carried my self to the Afrocentric book store and scooped up her autobiography *$5 a pop* and had them girls start learning the “Ain’t I a Woman” speech pronto!

    I blame BET & their parents. Running around calling themselves harajuki barbies and sheet. Hmmph, chile please!

    • http://natashasjourney-natasha.blogspot.com Natasha

      As an educator, I go the extra mile to give our kids some knowledge about their history.

      I co-sign this. I am an educator as well. This is very important.

      • brotherspanky

        I doubly concur. I teach at an all-Black, all-boys school, and sometimes what these kids don’t know about their own past is cotdamn shameful…

        And I do blame BET. Whilst chaperoning a class trip to a taping of 106th and Park (don’t ask), I was actually mandated by audience security to put away my book.

        …now ain’t that a bish.

        • Ash

          And I do blame BET. Whilst chaperoning a class trip to a taping of 106th and Park (don’t ask), I was actually mandated by audience security to put away my book.

          Well d*amn. Just. D*mn.

          • Angelaontoday

            Wow. That is all.

    • Memeka86

      I blame BET & their parents. Running around calling themselves harajuki barbies and sheet. Hmmph, chile please!


      I almost shat my pants last semester when a group of my students didn’t know who Sojourner Truth was!

      The youth of today are so lost…smh

  • http://vanessameetswhitley.blogspot.com/ Pan Afrikanist Bourgie Princess

    My degree MA is in Latino/African American Studies (I know you’re thinking the same thing my family did, and yes I could have stdied my family for free instead of going to school) and am now working on my PhD in the same. I say this to say that in oth of my programs I am the only person of color. Everyone else is white and do you know what their future aspirations are? Well I’ll tell you. To work for federal agencies such as the FBI to make life unberable for people of color… on some J.E. Hoover type stuff. But you know what, my issue isn’t so much with these educated nuts, but rather with people of color who don’t take the opportunity to infiltrate programs like these. Shoot, they’re attending our HBCUs now on “minority scholarships.” My other issue is that people of color have this idea about “my suffering trumps your suffering.” Give me a break! We’re all in this together, racial profiling is racial profiling. And ethnic studies is ethnic studies. You think it won’t happen in your state/city/town? Search to see what PAC contributions your legislator received, and then we’ll talk, because money talks, which could lead to the passage of such laws in your neck of the woods.

    The power lies in “ethnic people” (I hate that term… don’t we all represent an ethnicity?) coming together to form coalitions based upon similar experiances. This is the time for us to stand “juntos” (“together” for the non Spanish speakers). Chico Pepe Ramon De la Garza y Mendoza and Uncle Rukus have the same DNA and face the same issues, and no Chico is not taking Uncle Rukus’ job because Unc didn’t want to work in the Tyson chicken plant no way (“uppity arse negro”).

    • Shay

      My other issue is that people of color have this idea about “my suffering trumps your suffering.” Give me a break! We’re all in this together, racial profiling is racial profiling.

      This is why I hate the notion of “Asians as the model minority.” It puts us at odds with other people of color and sh*t.

    • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

      “My other issue is that people of color have this idea about “my suffering trumps your suffering.” ”

      I hate this ish too. And this goes for ANY oppressed group that does this. It’s the Oppression Olympics (term swiped from Sister T) and it’s bullsh*t. To me, it’s just another way to divide and conquer minorities or any oppressed group. Because Jeebus forbid, we all gather together, a lot of this B.S. we’re dealing with would cease to exist.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @Cheekie, i think its intentional actually. white people are slowly becoming the minority so they have to find ways to keep mental power. if you pit groups against one another, even without numbers as long as you control information and sh*t (American History, etc) then you are still in charge.

      • Gem of the Ocean

        Oppression Olympics (term swiped from Sister T)

        i actually prefer the term “olympics of suffering” swiped from Michael Scott of Dunder Mifflin.

  • miss t-lee

    Oh I see you PJack, tryna throw my state under the bus…lmao What’s so sad is some legislative kat is tryna get Texas to adopt a similar bill. SERIOUSLY? Leave that effed up isht in AZ. My city (austin) did boycott the whole state. City employees aren’t allowed to travel to or do any business with Arizona. Now there are other Texas cities boycotting us…hilarious.

    • Tx10inch

      Cosign T-lee

      I used to think Texas had everything backwards but clearly Arizona is the state that needs be dropped from the union.

      @Panama – I take offense to that.. but real talk?? With all the illegal hispanics and latinos in my great state I thought Tx WOULD be the first to pull what I dubbed the racist “Zona NO Corona”. *shrugs* Guess AZ beat us to it.

      • Gem of the Ocean

        lol @ “zona no corona”

    • Caballeroso

      With Texas not having an income tax and relying moreso on sales taxes, I don’t think Texas will go the AZ route as easily. Yeah the ill-informed native racists will encourage and promote going in a similar direction, but knowing that the state needs money for budgets and sh*t, and knowing that even illegals pay sales taxes, I doubt we’ll see legislators on that bandwagon anytime soon…then again, these fools are full of surprises.

    • Sula

      My city (austin) did boycott the whole state.

      That’s why I heart Austin…

      And please, them west texas cities can boycott you all day long, they ain’t got sh!t!!!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @miss t-lee, I didn’t mean to throw your state under the bus…lol…but errum, i’m just saying.

  • legitimate_soul

    I agree with your eloquent post (great post by the way). I am in full boycott of Arizona. Since they didn’t want to have a King holiday they have been suspect for some time. So, to answer your question I am not suprised. I am not surprised John McCain’s state did this. I am however saddened (the state of affairs is sad and pitiful, but not at all weakened in sadness) and disappointed. I think I read something which stated that Bishop Desmond Tutu commented that this is how apartheid and wide sweeping descriminatory practices begin. I don’t doubt that one bit.

    The hypocrisy is just beyond belief since that land was Native American Lands and Mexico anyway (zona arida =desert zone, thus Arizona). However, I think an interesting thing may occur. It points out that things are NOT equal since President Obama was elected (Some fools were actually touting that everything was hunky dory.) and it will bite Republicans in the butt later. Republicans enjoy support from people of Latin origin…Mexico, Cuba, etc. When the Republicans turn their back on such a huge and vital support base it’s going to adversely effect them (that’s what they get!). Besides it being foul and wrong, they are shooting themselves in the foot.

    Another point I want to bring up is a good deal of illegal immigrants are European, but no one is thinking of asking for their papers.

    This is a reminder for people not be complacent. Plus, for me, Arizona was only half-way cool because of the influence of people of color. ‘Ish is raggedy without Mexican and Native people, culture and influence.

    • miss t-lee

      @legitimate soul, I love how they like to forget that there are European illegal immigrants. It’s only the brown folks that are illegal right? LoL

      • Anonymous

        @miss t-lee Exactly! But because they have white skin no one’s looking right? Or they’re turning their heads because their fellow white person feels as though they have entitlement. They see a black person: they’re reminded that they don’t want us here but can’t do nothin about it since most of us didn’t ask to be here. They see a brown peson and tell them to go back to where they came from even if they’ve been here for generations like the rest of us. I’m so disgusted with this! Black women have the highest abortion rates in America. There’s a real reason why there are so many abortion clinics in poor areas. If this weren’t the case we’d be a much more dominant race not so much of a “minority”. I’m about to grab up Tyrese real quick so we can make some babies and bring our census back up and let these fools know we ain’t goin nowhere, before they try to kick our black *asses out next.

      • http://www.pinchmycheekie.blogspot.com Cheekie

        girl, YES.

      • Macallean (neat)

        I am sure that the police are going to stop all the people from Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, Russia, Romania, former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia) who also could be here illegally? Oh wait….no probable cause.

        The MLB better move that all-star game.

      • Gem of the Ocean

        I love how they like to forget that there are European illegal immigrants. It’s only the brown folks that are illegal right? LoL

        girl didn’t you know?? only BROWN illegals come with drugs and crime. duh!

    • T’Lu

      The hypocrisy is just beyond belief since that land was Native American Lands and Mexico anyway

      OOOO you nailed it. I was having this same convo with my sister about this. ALL OF US are illegal immigrants. The only people who can truly claim America as their land are the Native Americans. I’m so pissed at Arizona. Who do they think they are thinking that they can go around saying ” you look like an immigrant with yo tan self so Go Home Jose Carlos Manuel!” Meanwhile Anastasia, Svetlana, and Joachim flies right under the radar cuz of their blue eyes and blond hair. Glory to white privilege.
      This is sounding very Nazi-like to me “anything that appears Jewish” is now “anything that appears Hispanics”
      Fricking ridiculous. I guess this is part of the NWO huh.
      I’m so P.O.ed about this. Le sigh

  • blackroot

    what do you expect? US government has criminalized
    –black people (lynching, police harassment and brutality)
    –kids of color (curfews, gang bills)
    –homeless (anti-loitering laws)

    it makes sense that immigrants are next. this is why we all need to be out there protesting and boycotting and calling representatives. just like the poem says, by the time they come for you (if they haven’t already), there will be no one left to speak up!

    • Gem of the Ocean

      great points

  • P.

    By The Time I Get To Arizona they’ll have thrown my Black ass in jail.

    • Gem of the Ocean