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Though she speaks perfect English and knew the law wasn't scheduled to go into effect until this week, she was frightened half to death. She allowed the officer to tail her another couple of blocks to her home, where she retrieved her passport for inspection.
Each of these crude assaults upon dignity happened without benefit of SB 1070. Each happened to an American.
While Jan Brewer, state Senator Russell Pearce (1070's author), Barry Wong, and Joe Arpaio sport conservative mufti, this is neither a right nor left issue. The feckless few, Goddard, Giffords, and Mitchell, are not without incriminating shadow.
Historically, America attacks immigrants, only embracing the foreigners long after the Yankee has pummeled them to within an inch of their ethnicity. Progressives and those who should know better have their place in this roll call of sulfurous shame.
What? You thought local fecks invented political convenience, not to mention ignorance? To provide perspective, here is the first president of Stanford, David Starr Jordan, on immigrants: "Most of them . . . are very different from the Anglo-Saxon — very much less capable of self government, and on the whole, morally and socially less desireable."
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, celebrated suffragette and rum obsessionist, viewed alcohol as an immigrant issue: "Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a democracy, who never read the Declaration of Independence."
Understanding that this sort of drivel always has been a part of the national fabric is not to excuse it. We must not tolerate the midway we've been invited into, where barkers with badges play whack-a-Mexican for the delight of gap-toothed voters.
But it is useful to understand that politicians are not going to rectify the situation. Splenetic officials who fan the fever of common boobery must be kicked to the curb. Remember, too, the fair-weather moderates when they come calling for your campaign contribution.
And we also must stand up individually.
To the pious constitutional scholars who yelp, "What part of 'illegal' don't you understand?" there is but one answer:
Why, none of it, sir. None of it at all.
If you live in Phoenix, you will be asked by out-of-state Nellies why you don't move out of a state whose legislature notoriously canceled the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Because the fight is in Arizona; I would not be anywhere else.
My hand to Mexicans, and my fist to crackers.
Daniel Magos agreed to the use of his name in this article, but some others requested anonymity out of a sense of caution. Our subjects came courtesy of the ACLU and other activist concerns. We are indebted to Daniel Okrent's exemplary Last Call for references to Jordan and Stanton.