July 8, 2010

If you’re not part of the solution…

Filed under: Observations — Tags: , , , , , — sbj @ 4:43 pm

First of all, by way of full disclosure, let me get the dirty work out of the way (and probably lose half of my potential readers in the process).  I am against Arizona SB1070.  I believe it promotes racial profiling and in doing so perpetuates negative stereotypes. I believe that there is no room in our supposedly advanced and evolved society for such legislation.  That is my opinion, it is battle tested, and I assure you, you are not going to change it.  But that’s not what this post is about…

Now that I have reduced the people reading this to those who also oppose the law – my intended target audience anyway… I will proceed with pissing many of you off as well.

Why, because I don’t believe, for one minute, that the majority of citizens (or even legislators) in Arizona are filled, or even guided by hate, and I think those of you out there who oppose this bill and are touting hate as the root cause of it are barking up the wrong tree and causing more harm than good for yourselves and your cause.

While it is convenient, easy and emotionally stirring to point to someone and say they are motivated by hate, fear, or other “evil” forces.  The fact is that, rarely, is that the case.

In Arizona, I believe the motivating factor is intense – and justified – frustration.  However, as is often the case, a decision made from frustration is not the best (or even close to the best, again, IMO) one available.

US Representative Gabrielle Gifford appears to agree, recently issuing the following statement:

I am disappointed with the federal lawsuit against SB 1070 for the same reason I was disappointed when this bill became law: Neither will do anything to make Arizona’s border communities more secure.

Both the law and the lawsuit challenging the law are unnecessary distractions. Arizonans want our nation to control its borders and bring a halt to the violence, smugglers and drugs that threaten our way of life

I believe SB 1070 is a mistake, and it does bad things.  However, grouping the people of Arizona and their elected officials as hate mongers is not only also bad, it is, in fact, the exact same “bad thing” that many bill opponents are up in arms about in the first place.  It is a grand generalization, launched out of frustration, at a group of people composed largely of individuals to which the accusation does not apply.

If concerned citizens from outside the state of Arizona want to take the time and make the effort to get involved in Arizona politics, I would encourage them to do so in a constructive manner.  Don’t attack the people or the legislators, attack the law, and, if you are going to do that, be willing to stand WITH the citizens of Arizona in forging a good solution to a very real problem.

If not, put simply, you are part of the problem…

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