The Cowardice of the Democratic Party in Arizona was of no use in the 2010 Elections - Failing to take a stand because of cowardice did not save them from a Big Defeat. Cowardice is always despicable !
It Is Time to Free Arizona
Salomón F. Baldenegro
December 14, 2010
It Is Time to Free Arizona
Some excerpts :
Arizona has been in the news, this year, more than any time I can remember, maybe more so than any time in history. To what do we owe this honor? Is it our beautiful weather? Is it our big skies, our stunning and diverse scenery, the deeply-rooted Mexican and Native people and culture that are woven into the very fabric of the state? Well, the answer to the latter is maybe, but we all know that the real reason for our infamy is Jan Brewer, Russell Pearce, Sheriff Arpaio, SB1070, HB2281, and the concerted and intense racist attack on Latinos that has come to define our state in the eyes of the country and the rest of the world. Whether we like it or not, we have the attention of the entire world, and for all the wrong reasons.
Despite this, however, many people refuse to even acknowledge the existence of this attack and the racist climate that has infected our state. Arizona has been condemned for it by the rest of the country and world, yet many people, including a great number of self-described “liberals” and “progressives”, continue to treat it as a pink elephant in the room.
This includes many of our elected officials, and most of the Democratic candidates in the 2010 election, for whom it was the official party line not to engage in this battle. The official policy was not to speak about SB1070, HB2281, etc., essentially throwing the Latino community right under the bus, at a time when we are under full-scale attack. By way of their silence and inaction, they were absolutely complicit in the demonizing and scapegoating of Latinos for political gain.
Ironically, though, it was this lack of courage and leadership that resulted in the drubbing and embarrassment for Democrats in the past election. The more they pandered to the racist agenda, the weaker they looked, and the less and less inspiring they became. How can any person of conscience, especially Latinos, be inspired to get out and vote for people who will not take a stand to defend them at this most critical time? The bottom line is that if they want the highly-prized and coveted “Latino vote”, then they are going to have to earn it.
I’ve heard some of the Democratic Party leadership respond to this criticism by condescendingly saying that “we cannot focus on one single issue.” The youth are strong, intelligent, and capable, and those who fail to recognize our ability to deal with a wide variety of issues do so at their own peril. However, condescension and arrogance aside, guess what? There is “one single issue” that defines the state of Arizona in the eyes of the country and the world, and it is the racist attack that we are currently experiencing. Whether we like it or not, this is what currently defines Arizona, and once the Democrats choose to proactively represent their ideals, and make strong, cogent arguments to inspire their base and confront the far right agenda that is destroying the working and middle class, black, white, and brown, they will find that the same wave that took Obama to the White House in 2008 will rematerialize to carry them in 2012.
However, for whatever reason, so many people refuse to acknowledge what has defined the state of Arizona, in the eyes of the world. It could be that the issue of race has become a touchy subject for many. It could be that they think that all of this will somehow magically disappear. For whatever reason, they simply pretend that none of this exists.
To this day, the fight against racism continues in Arizona.
Hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets, in anger. Students have walked out of school, in protest of laws that seek to delegitimize their culture and co-opt their education by removing Mexican-American, African-American, Native American, and Pan-Asian history courses from the schools. The state of Arizona is the target of a worldwide boycott due to this racist attack, yet these people still will not acknowledge it and take a stand.
For those of us who have been involved in the resistance to this attack, the silence of so many is absolutely infuriating. What is particularly infuriating is that many of these same people speak glowingly about the noble efforts of the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s and 70s, yet they refuse to acknowledge the civil rights movement that is happening, RIGHT NOW, in 2010.
Despite the frustration and anger that Latinos feel, I am writing this column to appeal to the broader community to fight against this injustice, and to explain why this attack is dividing and destroying our state, no matter what race, background, or political party you are from.
The first reason is that it is destroying our state’s economy, plain and simple. In response to SB1070, the rest of the country and world has launched a full boycott of our state. It is SPECIFICALLY because of this law that people are now refusing to come here, spend money here, or do business with companies based in Arizona.