Arizona : A State Gone Mad!

Sadly, Arizona has become the loony state, surpassing other states which had developed terrible images in recent decades, including Mississippi and Alabama in the 1960s on racial issues, and Florida and California in the early years of the new century on political issues!

In the last seven months, the Arizona legislature passed a law allowing those with concealed weapons permits to bring their guns into bars and restaurants! They are further loosening up gun restrictions, becoming the haven for gun rights fanatics! πŸ™

Arizona has voted to repeal health care for poor children, and is pursuing a lawsuit against the Health Care Reform law passed by Congress last month!

Attempts to tighten abortion restrictions are on the road to passage, and yet a bill to deny aid to welfare recipients if they own a car or have cable television, smoke, or consume alcohol, is being considered as well! One can understand the tobacco and alcohol matters, but owning a car or having cable should be a negative? πŸ™

Also, Arizona is considering a requirement that all presidential candidates must prove their citizenship if they wish to be placed on the Presidential ballot for the 2012 election, a direct swipe at Barack Obama and a salute to the “Birthers”, who still contend that Obama was not born in the United States! Can one imagine that Obama’s name might be not allowed on the 2012 ballot over such a ridiculous, crazy view of conspiracy theorists? πŸ™

Now, there is outrage around the country against the new law that makes it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant in Arizona, and requires law enforcement officials to demand documents from anyone they suspect to be in the country illegally, placing an extra burden on police officers and other law enforcement agencies!

A boycott movement against Arizona is starting, which could seriously hurt the state’s economy and tourism. With the All Star Game in baseball due in Phoenix next year, there could be a decision to move the game, much like the Super Bowl being moved in the mid 1980s, when Arizona refused to agree to a Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday when all other states went along with it. The state suffered economic and tourism loss then, and it will likely occur again!

If Arizona can successfully impose this law on all people living in or visiting the state, then it will spread like wildfire to other states that have a record of discrimination, particularly the South!

Already, there are discussions of such laws in Texas and Florida, and the only thing that will stop it is federal intervention, including a possible lawsuit by the Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Republican party nationally wants to avoid this topic and exploit it, but Barack Obama will need to be a “profile in courage” and confront this situation, which in many respects is similar to what President Eisenhower faced in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, and President Kennedy faced in Mississippi in 1962 and Alabama in 1963.

The age of discrimination based upon race or ethnicity or nationality cannot be permitted to be practiced in any state, without a strong reaction by the federal government, whether conservatives and Republicans like it or not! πŸ™

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