Greetings from sunny SoCal where the babes are hot, the drinks are cool and the Mexicans are angry.
Most of us colored folk have known how fucked up legislators in the state of Arizona can be. It wasn't that long ago that Arizona refused to recognize Martin King as a holiday. I swore then and there that I would never visit Arizona unless somebody was yelling "cut!" and "action!" Terry McMillan almost bamboozled me into wanting to visit after I first read Waiting To Exhale. The descriptions of the beautiful deserts near Scottsdale made me salivate for sunsets and sexy men. Then I remembered Terry McMillian didn't know shit about men..well at least in one case. Who knew? Marrying a younger man who happens to be GAY went sour.
Fast forward to 2008 during the Presidential press junkets John McCain's old ass sittin up hemming and hawing on the hot seat when asked about it. Of course he feels differently now, than when he voted against it becoming a well deserved holiday. But I'm not here to rip on Johnny McCain. I don't believe in elder abuse.
I have a good friend Yvonne Huff from Arizona. And my cousin Charlynne, who foolishly moved to AZ from Gary, IN---although I can't blame baby girl for wanting a change of pace. Living in Kosovo would be better than Gary.
Listen, I'm a full bloodied American. I am the great great great granddaughter of sharecroppers and slavecatchers. I talk loudly, I eat and drink excessively, my language is littered with racial epithets while driving, and I will start a brawl when it comes to Chicago sports and my beloved White Sox. I am proud to be an American. I hate war and don't agree with American geo-politics, but I support troops. There are many things I hate about this country---how we've failed at so many things. But one thing I can't really get with is pulling someone over cuz they look illegal? In the words of Gob Bluth: COME ON?!
Sure they eat beans and put mayo on corn dusted with paprika. It's gross, but that's not a reason to hate a mothafucka. We all eat gross shit. I've certainly lived with racial profiling for most of my life. I think the reason I've escaped most Rodney King style beatings from cops is because I've got boobs. And most of the racist cops take one look at me and wanna play Thomas Jefferson & Sally Hemmings. I've watched law enforcement harass my brother, friends, colleagues and despite batting my eyelashes I've had some racial profiling happen to me in the past. It's not new, but it certainly sucks.
I attended Marie S. Curie High School for the Performing and Creative Arts on Chicago's south west side. Getting acceptance into Curie was a big fucking deal back then. The school was filled with bright and creative minds. It was a magnet school and was quite diverse. After attending grammar school in an all black neighborhood and having a few racist teachers, I decided that I would create my own new world. Where my friends would reflect the lives of people on tv. I wanted my school to look like Bay Side High. Yes, I wanted Zack, Kelly, and Screech to eat lunch with me.
At Curie, I not only found Zack and Kelly---but Lupe, Xochtil, Jose, Betty, Essie, Jenny, Paco, Benicio and a host of others. When I look back at HS photo's, it looks like a Benneton ad. My homies where white, black, Latino, Polish, Asian, Gay, and Weird. I loved learning about Puerto Rican and Mexican cultures, and they in turn learned about Black heritage. I've had all kinds of Latino boyfriends, and BFF's. It wasn't always perfect, as high schoolers are still dumb kids. But I'm pretty certain our wonder years made us into more tolerant human beings.
So today when I see the bullshit that's happening in Arizona it makes my stomach turn. I realize the issue isn't so black and white. Immigration issues are complicated, and can no longer be ignored. But building a fence won't work either. I don't have the answer but---I know this much:
The state of California could NOT function without the contributions of migrants. If AZ succeeds, this shit could spread all over the nation, and we cannot allow that to happen. Why? I'll tell you why. I saw an older white woman mowing her lawn yesterday. Yes, her OWN LAWN. And I thought "Well, there goes the neighborhood."
Call your congressman or don't drink Arizona Ice Tea. Ion't know. Do something. Or Don't Do something. However that shit works...
I'm on one mission
to get a politician
To honor or he's a goner
By the time I get to Arizona--
ciao for now patriots!
Examining why white people love to put bacon in every dish.