There is a difference between the public and the private self, and with Giffords - whom you’re correct in saying that I don’t know personally - I comment on the public self. She may be hard-working and dedicated, but what she has worked hard at and shown herself to be dedicated to is conservative, pandering, racist politicking.
Her objection to SB 1070 was not that it was racist, but that it was impractical. She cheered the deployment of the National Guard to the border, to combat a problem that does not exist. Even though her being shot has been cited as an example of why guns ought to be banned, she herself supports gun rights.
Note the arrogance of “we” - the assumption that everybody supports the same racist measures that she does.
The Arizona Republic has named Gabrielle Giffords as Arizonan of the Year. Her achievement? Getting shot and not dying.
The article praises her recovery as “a hero’s journey.” I’ve read much praise of her “courage” and “heroism” elsewhere. Logically, this means that the people who died after being shot that day were weak and cowardly.
While what happened to her is undeniably awful, Giffords’ recovery is not about heroism, but about luck, wealth and privilege, about access to as much health care as she needs.
In our culture of emotional pornography, people who suffer tragedy are fetishized. Since being shot, Gabrielle Giffords has been presented as a liberal saint. In reality, she is an ordinary conservative. Her position on immigration is as racist as that of Jan Brewer. Her objection to SB 1070 was not that it was racist, but that it was impractical. She cheered the deployment of the National Guard to the border, to combat a problem that does not exist. Even though her being shot has been cited as an example of why guns ought to be banned, she herself supports gun rights.
I could not help but laugh when, in the aftermath of the shooting - which killed six people, whose names are seldom heard now - I saw some people crying while holding a banner that bore the words Gabby Was Always There for Us. Who is “us?” How was she “there?” If “us” means wealthy white people, I suppose she was.
Her being selected as Arizonan of the Year simply for not dying is an insult to those who died, and to those who die in violent attacks every year, and to Arizonans who have actually achieved something. It would make as much sense to give the award to Paris Hilton.
I’ve said before that the reason I write novels set in Arizona is that it is the epicenter of the U.S.’s crisis.
On Tuesday evening, in Southern California, I was stopped at two La Migra checkpoints. In both cases, it was National Guardsmen rather than Border Patrol officers.
At the first one, they just had a drug-sniffer dog check out the car for around 30 seconds, then waved me on.
At the second one, the young man in his paramilitary costume walked up to the window of the car I was driving and said one word:
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Judge Susan Bolton’s injunction against the most heinous elements of Arizona’s Jim Crow law, SB 1070.
It’s not over - Governor Jan Brewer has vowed to take it as far as the Supreme Court - but for now the Constitution has prevailed. Before breathing too heavy a sigh of relief, it’s vital to remember that when this illegal, racist bill was first passed, other states approved of it and wanted to implement similar legislation. Brewer and the bill’s Nazi-hugging sponsor, Russell Pearce, remain committed to it, even though it has caused an exodus of immigrants that has severely hurt business in this already near-bankrupt state. If their enthusiasm has not been diminished by reality, there is no reason to suppose that their admirers in other states have changed their minds either.
Arizona is the epicenter of the U.S.A.’s crisis - and the rest of the country sees it as a role model.
Brewer says the law is necessary to “protect the people from Arizona.” Protect them from what? There is no immigration problem.
“I don’t think this was an epiphany of justice and understanding, this was about economic impact.” - former Arizona senate minority leader Alfredo Gutierrez
Stephen Lemons reports that AZ Governor Jan Brewer, irked at the Federal Government’s blocking of the most racist elements of SB 1070, has filed a “counter-claim” against the government, on the grounds that AZ has not been protected against an “invasion” of illegal immigrants.
Insane? Yes. Does it stand a chance? No.
The most absurd part? As I’ve reported already, the “immigration problem” doesn’t exist.