It would almost be funny how much the people behind racist uproar in Arizona swear they're not racist, if the whole situation weren't so damn serious. Despite the swearing up and down that this has nothing to do with race, and just is a matter of enforcing immigration law, the targeting of legal immigrants and natural born citizens tells a different story. Let's start with the targeting of school teachers with foreign accents, all of whom have a legal right to live and work here, and some of whom were recruited by the school system to teach English.


According to Think Progress, the man behind this project is Tom Horne, a superintendent who is running for attorney general. His reasoning in this video is specious and laughable to anyone who isn't a full-blown racist looking for a rationalization. He claims that it's confusing to students if a teacher pronounces "comma" like "coh-ma". The underlying assumption is that there's only one right way to pronounce any word in English, something that isn't true even within the United States, much less across different accents in the English-speaking world. For instance, am I more or less American because I pronounce the pronoun "I" like "Ah" instead "Eye"? Those are actually pretty different, and yet we expect people to learn that both are acceptable. People like Horne may be able to fool some people that live far away from the Southwest with this act, but for those of us who grew up there, it's obvious he's full of shit. A fluent English speaker with a Spanish accent isn't hard to understand, and they're the ones being targeted. Whining that some people drop the ending sounds in words is particularly stupid, since that's how pretty much everyone in the South speaks, and no one is claiming you can't understand them.

Asshole #2 is man behind the "papers please" law, Russell Pearce. He's got his sights set on natural born citizens of the United States whose skin color and/or ethnicity displeases him. He's decided that immigrant women who give birth in the U.S. are in on a "racket", and the only way to stop it is to pass a law deporting natural born citizens to the country their mother is originally from.

Not to get all dictionary definition on you, but I think it's useful to consider what the word "racket" actually means. According to Wikipedia, this is the closest definition to how it's being used in the email that Pearce forwarded:

A racket is an illegal business, usually run as part of organized crime. Engaging in a racket is called racketeering.

Several forms of racket exist. The best-known is the protection racket, in which criminals demand money from businesses in exchange for the service of "protection" against crimes that the racketeers themselves instigate if unpaid (see extortion). A second well known example is the numbers racket, a form of illegal lottery.

And this is how the RICO Act, which gives the federal government authority to break up rackets, defines racketeering:

* Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act);

* Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and several other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code (Title 18);

* Embezzlement of union funds;

* Bankruptcy fraud or securities fraud;

* Drug trafficking; long-term and elaborate drug networks can also be prosecuted using the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute;

* Money laundering and related offenses;

* Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country (if the action was for financial gain);

* Acts of terrorism.

Notice what's not on there? Giving birth, or even simply being pregnant. This is because it's fucking nuts to criminalize child-bearing. And let's not play that the assisting illegal aliens thing has any relationship to this, especially since the babies being assisted into the U.S. via their mothers' bodies that Pearce is targeting aren't aliens. RICO is speaking about coyotes, who are generally exploiting the people who these laws are created to harass and abuse. I promise you, no one is paying anyone to have babies. And it takes a wild imagination to think of someone being involved in a criminal conspiracy to achieve the rather routine and natural act of giving birth. Body functions =/ criminal conspiracies. I think all reasonable people can agree on this.

Just for shits and giggles, I thought I'd find out what Russell "Having A Baby Is A Criminal Conspiracy" Pearce thinks about the act of choosing not to have a baby. Surprise surprise! He's against that, too! He's racked up an extensive history of trying to pass legislation that restricts a woman's right to abortion. The common theme here is: All your uteri all belong to Pearce. He tells you if and when you can have a baby, and obviously would like to create a system forcing the "right" kind of women to have babies whether they like it or not, and the "wrong" kind of women can't have any babies, no matter how wanted. Remember kids, it's never about "life", but about a bunch of assholes, usually in the craggy old white dude department, who believe your bodies are their property to dispose of how they wish.