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13 May 2010

“Papers, please.” is a line of dialog that can be found in dozens of movies and has become synonymous with Nazi Germany.  Following the passing of Arizona’s so-called ‘anti-immigration’ legislation, we may find similar dialog in future films about the American desert.

Arizona State Flag

Arizona’s new law, passed only a month ago, requires individuals to produce documentation that proves their American citizenship.  Failure to produce proof of citizenship may result in arrest and incarceration.  Such blatant disregard for an individuals rights is, in this writers opinion, completely unacceptable.  Thankfully, I’m not alone in that opinion.  It seems the federal government and the Mayor of Phoenix agrees, at least in spirit.

Then, to add insult to injury, a law that prohibits ethnic studies in Arizona was passed this morning.  That’s right.  Ethnic studies, banned.  African Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, or insert culture here; all are no longer entitled to their history.  Any school that violates this law will lose state funding; a violation is defined as a class which “promotes the overthrow of the U.S. government, promotes resentment of a particular race or class of people, is designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.”

What’s more?  Teachers with accents are no longer legally eligible to teach English classes.  Supporters of the law assert that the teachers with accents will be offered classes to improve their dialect.  However, teachers who fail to meet the states guidelines will be fired or reassigned.

Add to all of this the recent Texas Board of Education’s decision to remove key historical figures from standard national textbooks and the overture of a re-imagined history begins to take place.  Perhaps a history in which Mexican and African Americans were once a blight on the superiority of American capitalist values.  An America which has always persecuted immigrants and, in some cases, it’s own people in the name of security and justice.  A history in which our forefathers fought not for a purely secular government but for a democratic theocracy.

On the subject of secular government; How is it that a school can lose state funding for teaching children about their unique cultural heritages but it continues receiving state funding when it teaches creationism?  There is a clear, well-defined, separation of church and state in the United States and with good reason: it protects both the church and the state.

I digress.

In any event, if you agree with what you’ve read here, I urge you to join the boycott on the state of Arizona.  Los Angeles, San Francisco, and a number of organizations have joined a growing list of people who are standing up for American ideals by boycotting Arizona.

Boycotting is easy.  First, there are a few petitions here and here for you to sign.  Second, don’t travel to or through Arizona.  Third, don’t patronize companies based in Arizona.  (P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Sky Mall,, Arizona based sports teams, etc.)  Last, tell others by clicking the share buttons below.  With a little pressure, Arizona will certainly revert to policies of non-discrimination.

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