SB1070. Need I say more?
In a land where nearly everyone is from immigrant stock, and the only native peoples of the US are American Native Americans (and I will get to that some other day), here is another law which can be easily misconstrued and pretty soon, anyone who is yellow, black, brown, red, will have to show IDs. It was bad enough only 25 years ago when I went on a field trip with a group of other artists to Canada via Niagara Falls (we were all artists in residence at Art Park), and coming back into the US, we got stopped, and I had a flashlight shining in my face, and the US Border Patrol asked my companions (all of whom were white) if “she could speak English” and if “she was from China”. I was infuriated, and I told him “listen, I can understand English and why are you asking them questions about me?” Needless to say, the ride back home was quiet, not sure if they were all in shock that this actually happened, or if they were just mulling over the reality of this thing that just happened. The thing was, he didn’t even bother to ask for my ID at the time and I just can’t imagine what might have happened if I did not have my driver’s license with me. I also didn’t know how I could even prove that I was a US citizen with only a drivers license.
Fast forward to 2010, I just can’t imagine driving through Arizona and having to show papers everywhere I went. And dealing with the questions, even if my great great great grandparents came off the boat, and having to defend my citizenship would be bad enough. I can imagine that daily routines of even LEGAL immigrants, and American-born people would change – I know that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, my grandparents and their fellow Japanese American friends avoided walking out at night, they made sure that their activities was during the day, and in the company of sympthetic caucasian friends. Despite their careful behavior and putting up with constant slurs, they were still incarcerated in the camps.
How can SB1070 NOT be about race? What about European immigrants from, say, Russia? Why aren’t they singled out? Why it must be because they look like “them”.