What's up with Arizona?
After a Latino state legislator proposed a Latino American Day, lawmaker Cecil Ash stepped up before the legislature to suggest a holiday for white people. Seriously.
This is, after all, the land of S.B. 1070, the contentious and draconian immigration enforcement bill that has been mired in legal deadlock since it was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer (R) in 2010. The legislation, considered the strictest of its kind when it was passed, is to be ruled upon by the Supreme Court later this year.
It's also home to Russell Pearce, the former Republican state senator credited with laying down the framework for the state's controversial immigration law.
And who can forget the ever-graceful Brewer, stateswoman and author, wagging her finger dismissively in the face of President Obama at an airport in Phoenix last month?
And the swashbuckling Sheriff Joe Arpaio lives there, too. He proclaimed himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," and now finds himself ensnared in a U.S. Justice Department investigation accusing his department of racially profiling Latinos, basing immigration enforcement on racially charged citizen complaints and punishing Hispanic jail inmates for speaking Spanish.
Enter Cecil Ash, a Republican from Mesa, who feels that what Arizona needs now is an official holiday for white folks.
The idea apparently came to Ash after state Rep. Richard Miranda proposed a Latino American Day. "I wanted to speak to you all about Latino Americans here in Arizona," Miranda said on the House floor Monday.
After some debate, Ash stepped forward with his grand idea.
"I'm supportive of this proposition and I think it's well deserved," he said. "I just want them to assure me that when we do become in the minority you'll have a day for us."
There was laughter on the House floor. On CBS 5 News, reporter Elizabeth Erwin introduced her story on the latest state controversy saying, "You can't make this stuff up." No you can't.
On the street, a random woman in a baseball cap said Ash's proposal made sense. Of course. "Like they have Cinco de Mayo for Mexicans," she told CBS 5 News, "we need something for whites." Only in Arizona.
Ash, for his part, wasn't backing down.
"I think it was appropriate," he told the station, referring to his proposed holiday. "It was appropriate for the mood that was in the House and I think that if and when the Caucasian population becomes a minority, they may want to celebrate the accomplishments and the contributions of the Caucasian population the same way."
Maybe Ash is onto something. Consider the talk of a Caucasian history month on the social networking site Tumblr. For real. No joke.
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